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The Future of Health Care?

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:27pm
I recently watched a three part series, 2057 , that was on the Discovery Channel. The series makes an educated projection on what life will most likely be like for in 50 years. The predictions are based on current technological developments that for the most part need only to be refined and expanded slightly. Part one of the series titled The Body focuses on potential medical developments in the near future.

Part one of the series predicts numerous advances that will benefit our lives and help us to live longer. Response times will be faster because of car sized VTOL or vertical take off and landing vehicles which are able to fly to and from the hospital in order to avoid traffic congestion. Responding emergency personnel will know all of your vitals, injuries, and medical history immediately. They will even be able to put you into temporarily suspended animation until and while they work on you and hospitals will be able to print you a new organ if necessary.

These advances sound incredible unfortunately, it comes at a price. In order to have all of your vital information immediately, everything you own from your refrigerator to your toilet will be connected to a computer system which not only the heath care system but also your medical insurance company will have access to. Urine and stool samples can be tested and the results supplied to your insurance company with each trip to the bathroom. They will know what is in your cupboards and refrigerator. So they will know what you have been eating and drinking, with particular interest in your not so healthy choices. There will be smart shirts and clothing that can supply private data including your location, heart rate, and breathing.

In this scenario privacy will be a thing of the past and we will all live in fear of our insurance companies. I believe that the best way to avoid this unfortunate consequence of advancement would be to enact some form of legal privacy protection limiting the access of insurance companies to our personal information and the creation of a universal heath care system. After all what would be the point of creating technologies to save countless lives when control of these technologies belongs to insurance companies. Do we all want to be slaves of the insurance companies?
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