This article examines a future driven by Moore’s Law and the trend of circuits and components getting smaller, faster and cheaper exponentially over time and the eventual blending of science and technology (INFO + BIO + NANO + NEURO). I approach this topic from the unique perspective of an IBM technologist, market strategist, futurist, and consumer advocate. See About the Author and About Modern Health, below, to better understand what shaped this view of the future. You can also see my slide presentation and related articles & infographics at the bottom.
Futurists regularly consider alternative scenarios and examine factors that can steer the future in one direction or another. That way, clients can select a preferred version of the future and know what they might do to make that future happen.
It’s relatively easy to extrapolate past trends, assuming that nothing prevents those trends from continuing at the same rate, but will they? One can also look at what’s possible by tracking research lab activity and then estimating how long it will take to bring those new technologies to market.
But a potentially better approach is to start with a solid understanding of market NEEDS and what drives the development of solutions for them, or factors that inhibit solutions. Changes in politics and public policy, for example, can be a huge driver, with Obamacare as an example, or a huge inhibitor. That’s why I’m so interested in various healthcare reforms that accompany tech innovation. Read the rest of this entry »
Spread the word today! This important documentary is coming to movie theaters, YouTube and on-demand on March 1.
A Place at the Table shows us how hunger poses serious economic, social, health and cultural implications for our nation, and how the problem of hunger can be solved once and for all, with your help.
Now think about the dramatic role that a proper diet can play in decreasing obesity, diabetes, chronic illness, food allergies, and healthcare costs by improving the health of Americans.
As Dr. Wahls says in her TED video, “Hunter-Gatherer diet feeds Mitochondria & Brain Cells.” “You’ll pay one way or another” – either pay now for a nutritious diet that improves your productivity and quality of life, or pay more later for medical intervention and long-term healthcare. This concept applies individually or nationally as portrayed in A Place at the Table.
There’s a Direct relationship between poverty, obesity, and the cost of health care.
Here’s some statistics, mostly from the 2010 census:
15.1% of Americans (46.2 million) live in poverty, including 22% of our children. 20% live in extreme poverty.
3.2 million Americans were kept out of poverty by unemployment insurance.
20.3 million were kept out of poverty by social security.
The poverty threshold for a family of four is $22,113; the 2010 avg. income of the bottom 90% was $26.364.
$6,298 — decline in median working-age household income from 2000 to 2010.
49.1 million — number of people under 65 without any health insurance.
13.6 million — decline in people under 65 with employer-sponsored health insurance from 2000-2010.
Public health officials can accurately predict obesity and longevity rates by zip codes. One inner city example had an average lifespan of just 64 years while it was 90 years in a wealthier neighborhood just 8 miles away. (HBO’s documentary, The Weight of the Nation)
Disadvantaged communities are at higher risk for many preventable health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis B and C, and infant mortality, largely due to the lack of health care, nutritious food at affordable prices, and sidewalks and parks to encourage exercise.
Pressures from Job, Money, Divorce and Violence cause a vicious cycle of Stress = Obesity = Stress.
Tech innovation and automation also plays a role, increasing productivity and profits for some, but eliminating jobs faster than creating new ones. Dr. Oz apparently agrees, as shown in this article, which also features a CBS report on the jobs impact of robotics and a collection of slides that I recently presented to a local jobs group.
Attribution: This post is based on a Huffington Post article by Brian Honigman (Digital Marketing Executive at Mark Ecko Enterprises), with notes added about our own use of social media.
With Pinterest expanding its features for businesses, Instagram launching a Web version and Facebook continually expanding its advertising options, now is as good a time as ever to bolster your social media presence for the future.
Before doing so, it’s important to understand the data behind each social channel to gain insights into what works and what doesn’t with your audience. Here are 100 of the most fascinating social media statistics and figures from 2012 that can help you better understand Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus for the coming year.
Technology ‘Saved My Life’: Making Life Better for Boomers, Seniors
From improving fitness and aging in place to ending isolation and engaging
more easily with family and friends, technology solutions help baby boomers
and seniors successfully address many of the issues associated with aging.
Orlando Estrada, 77, uses Microsoft HealthVault to manage his health information online at the St. Barnabas Senior Center in Los Angeles.
REDMOND, Wash. – July 9, 2012 – Milton Greidinger of New York and Concha Watson of Miami, Fla., were in their mid-80s when they first learned to use a personal computer. The experience dramatically changed both their lives, enabling them to reconnect to the world by pushing through the loneliness and isolation that had threatened to engulf them.
“It saved my life,” says Greidinger, a former buyer for Korvette’s department store, in assessing the Virtual Senior Center, a Microsoft public-private partnership that uses technology to link homebound seniors to activities at their local senior center and to provide better access to community services. “Before this project, I was bored to death. I was just waiting for my time to finish. Now, all of a sudden I’m wide awake. I’m alive again.”
Most of us will not have the opportunity to just die of “old age” or to simply fall to sleep one night never to wake again. Most often, we develop an illness which causes our death. These have changed markedly over the years. For the pioneers, accidents, infections, childbirth were times and causes of great likelihood of death. A century ago, infections were the leading causes of death. Today, we will probably survive much longer than our ancestors but it is more likely we will die of heart disease, cancer or stroke. This is a dramatic change in the causes of death that has occurred over the years and with it is an equally dramatic change in the factors that predispose to those deaths.
As the dust settles from the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), one of my LinkedIn groups got into a debate about what it all means and what needs to happen next. I got such a positive reaction from one of my comments that I thought I’d share it here, followed by details of the documentary I mentioned.
The aging population adds significantly to healthcare costs, but that’s a global problem and not specific to the US, so what is it about our nation that makes our healthcare system the most expensive in the world by far and without the positive outcomes to justify it?
As a consumer advocate, I believe our problems are rooted in our politics and societal beliefs and find it quite telling that, according to the HBO documentary “The Weight of the Nation,” public health officials can accurately gauge one’s average weight and BMI by zip code. It’s also telling that longevity in poor neighborhoods can be over 20 YEARS LESS than in affluent neighborhoods on the other side of the same town. Watch the video and see the stats at http://www.mhealthtalk.com/2012/06/americas-obesity-epidemic-a-big-problem-updated/.
I especially feel for children born into poor families or the “new poor” that were once middle-class families, but where the parents lost their job and/or home at no fault of their own, got hit with a health emergency, and have since burned through any retirement and capital investments they once had. Poor families often have:
Less access to healthcare, even from pre-birth,
Less access to affordable and nutritious foods,
Less exercise opportunity, with fewer places to safely play,
Inferior public schools (college seems out-of-reach),
“Why aren’t more health care organizations using social media to connect with patients and their community?” is a question posed to the LinkedIn discussion group, Innovations in Health. What follows is my response.
While HIPAA and regulatory oversight can inhibit progress, that’s not all bad unless extreme. On the other hand, social & political pressures can drive progress, and technology can enable it.
As an amateur futurist, I often view various potential future outcomes from three perspectives: (1) extrapolating trends, (2) examining market inhibitors, and (3) considering market drivers and enablers. Progress happens more quickly when #2 is minimized and #3 is maximized. So here’s what I foresee.
Artificial intelligence in Watson-like cloud computing services will combine with the remote monitoring of medical sensor devices and other mHealth technologies to move more & more physician functions down-market to PAs, NPs, RNs, aids, and patients themselves. Read the rest of this entry »
In Patients Find and Help Each other in Social Media, I showed how they’re actively turning to the Internet to find solutions when their doctors don’t have the answers. And a new report by the Health Research Institute at PwC shows that patient social media activity dwarfs that of the healthcare industry.
Now the infographic below is about physicians going online to find and support patients through social media and telemedicine programs. Read the rest of this entry »
The report found that social media activity by hospitals, health insurers and pharmaceutical companies is miniscule compared to the activity on community sites. While eight in 10 healthcare companies (as tracked by HRI during a sample one-week period) had a presence on various social media sites, community sites had 24 times more social media activity than corporate sites. The finding holds significant implications for businesses looking to capitalize on social media opportunities.
Liking, following, linking, tagging, stumbling: social media is changing the nature of health-related interactions.