How data can help us to live longer, happier and healthier
The health industry is the next one to be disrupted, with the paradigms of storing and processing data, in the coming years we are going to see a wave of new products and services based on health data. From early stage diagnose to the end of our lives, helping us to live longer, happier and healthier.
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Monitoring is key to prevention and these new technologies allow us to gather vast amounts of informations from sensors data, keeping track in real time of bio and mobility metrics from individuals. The bio tracking devices are already with us, the quantification self movent is currently focused on activitity, but it will move to the more health side, where we will be recording data about our daily intakes, oxygen consumption, temperature, sugar levels in blood, pulse, activity, intestinal activity, emotions, basically, anything that can be measured.
Health personal assistants
Medical practitioners were like gods in the all times, relying in their experience and expertise. Nowadays, health information is all over the internet, and individuals tend to diagnose themselves from not realiable sources. With the current machine learning technologies and choosing quality content and information, symptom checkers are trying to tackle this problem, where individuals can get reliable diagnoses about their symptoms, empowering them to take the best decisions. Imaging, a person in a far village in Africa or South America, with no access to a medical practitioner, however, with access to satellite internet, this kind of tools could help to assign resources when needed and help patients to have advice on early treatments. Also, this new personal assistants could help practitioners to be updated in their knowledge of symptoms, diseases and treatments.
Prescription engines are needed in order to help to maximize the efficiency of any treatment when fighting any disease. A mix of genetic, patients bio historical data and prescriptive models are a great match, this approach can help us to design ad hoc treatments from medicines to cancer interventions for patients. Based on facts, patient traits, genes and environmental factors it would be possible to have more efficient and cheaper treatments.
We live an big village where pandemic agents can cross borders just in hours, travelling from Central Africa to Hong Kong in less than 24 hours, infecting people all around the world. One of the disadvantages from globalization are these kind of threats that can put millions of people at risk with devastating consequences. However, nowadays we have the tools to monitoring these pandemic agents, using early detection data from global monitoring systems of diseases, transportation data, social networking data, health personal assistants data and environmental factors. We can treat this complex system as a giant organisim where people are infected, like cells in our system are infected by virus or damaged by cancer. Applying the same concepts of diagnose, prevention and treatment we can try to save the world from the next pandemic caused by tiny organisims that can kill millions of people. We are in the early stage of this new practice where epidemiologists, computer scientist, medical practitioners and governmental organisations have to much to say and work.
Predicting Medical Prognostics
Any human being wants to die in peace, sometimes this does not happens, due to a bad diagnose or inefficient treatments. Normally, one of the questions that a patient asks after being diagnosed to his doctor is, How much do I have? and doctors, I am afraid that they would never have a right answer. Data can help us to have more accurate medical prognostics, enabling us to avoid those last days at the hospital, and really rest in peace at home with our love ones. Gathering data from millions of diagnoses, treatments and prognostics it would be possible to have prognostics closer to the reality.
We can do better to tackle some of the most primitive health problems, using data, computers, ethics, knowledge and know how from health professionals, I am sure we can!
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