Americans are enamored with youth and staying youthful. We are also willing to pay, in healthcare dollars, to live longer but for most, with the caveat that quality of life come with the additional years. It’s no wonder that $3.8 trillion was spent on healthcare in 2014 in the U.S. Nearly half of that amount was spent on those over age 65, seeking ways to extend life, keeping them alive longer.
Biotechnology and advancements in biomedical technologies have already produced amazing results. Things like growing vital organs from an individual’s own cells has already become a reality, though in early stages. Stem-cell therapies have finally found a range of successes, and the growth in communications, and information technologies, need only build a medical niche for the current advances to be implemented which will yield hi-tech at low cost, and the benefit for the patient, the consumer of healthcare, is a longer, healthier life.
The truth is that technical advances take years from the initial investment to ripen into real-world applications. Over $1 trillion has been spent on biomedical research over the past 20 years, with the outcome, nothing less than, lifelong improvement in health and enhanced longevity.
Advancing technology-based medicine through genome research and offering healthcare consumers their own genome sequencing, one company enables individuals to identify their own genetic predispositions, healthcare risks, as well as strategies for wellness. This is made available by accessing web-based healthcare portals, using unique software apps.
The agglomeration of many individual’s healthcare data, de-identified of course, has begun to build a massive medical database with the means to see healthcare trends and morbidities based on lifestyle.
This is the merger of technology and medicine in an impressive forward-thinking implementation, combining genome and phenotype with clinical data, with a mission to battle age-related decline in human beings. , Human Longevity, Inc. is leading the way toward overcoming human disease and lengthening the human lifespan.
Merging Tech and Medicine
A more practical approach to the merging of technology and medicine in building a future of human longevity, traces back from the development of computing in healthcare. With implementation of the earliest healthcare systems, to the now relatively commonplace electronic medical or health records, EHR/EMR, encounter data and coding diagnosis data are tracked electronically even in smaller medical practices.
Healthcare informatics and health information management, HIM, no longer in their infancy, are far from where they need to be: fully integrated. In the early 1980’s, it was anticipated that within 10 years integration of health information would be well on its way to complete integration, uniformity, ease of use and fully networked. This was all within the auspices of protecting patient privacy even before HIPAA existed.
According to the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, today there remain incredible barriers to integration. The onslaught of data requirements by the Affordable Care Act, including the incremental annual requirements, place undue pressure on the small physician’s practice as well as the large institutional hospital that sits like a rock, as a pillar of the community.
Full Integration of data would mean that a physician in Dallas, TX could access the medical records of Jane Doe, identifying all her diagnoses going back to the year 1, across all medical providers, foreign and domestic. But that is not all. That is but the tip of the medical iceberg record.
Merging and amassing medical information across geography, demography, morbidity and other relevant components, sharing information, building models and tool-kits with solutions is the direction that is necessary to achieve human longevity. This means merging technology with medical science.