Health powered by tech – 03/20/2024 – Tech

Health powered by tech – 03/20/2024 – Tech


We are facing new paradigms regarding the role of technology in medicine. The moment is so favorable that it is even being able to overcome old rivalries.

For example, researchers from Stanford and Berkeley universities (historical archrivals), Dr. Walter Greenleaf and Dr. David Lindeman were together at SXSW 2024, on the panel on artificial intelligence in the fight against dementia, where they highlighted that, with advances in medicine, human life expectancy is expected to grow so much that diseases such as dementia could pose a risk to society comparable to global warming if not seriously addressed.

The health status of the population has repercussions that widely affect society. We therefore need to find solutions that can address the social, economic, financial, political, marketing challenges, as well as, of course, the personal ones, which affect the individual physically and psychologically.

What is the worst scenario to face when we are faced with a serious illness? Feeling alone, without the security of the meticulous eye of an experienced doctor nearby? Being overwhelmed by doubts about the best treatment to follow? Arriving at a hospital in an emergency and seeing that your previous exams are not in the system? Facing difficulty in obtaining a diagnosis or delay in discovering the disease, thus leaving little room for what can be done?

A great transformation is underway and many of these unfavorable situations are about to be overcome. The worst scenarios can be avoided with the use of “wearables”.

The term comes from the English word wear —to wear, and refers to different types of “gadgets”—ingenious functional devices, capable of diagnosing, proposing treatments, reversing the logic of hospitalization by accompanying the patient at home, preparing family members and caregivers with specific training, teaching the best way to act in everyday life and also in emergency situations and the most brilliant thing: preventing all types of diseases.

All this and much more will be within our reach in the near future. These are the benefits of machine learning, which promise great advances in medicine.

The favorite of the moment is the “smart ring”, a ring that monitors the cardiovascular system and sleep phases.

During the innovation conference that took place last week in Austin, in addition to being mentioned by several experts in panels on monitoring and prevention during SXSW 2024, smart rings were on the fingers of the event’s hottest CEOs and speakers.

The Oura ring, for example, monitors data relating to oxygen, heart rate and sleep, very precisely, as it is non-invasive. The fact that it doesn’t have a screen and is just a ring means that the person can wear it all the time.

The accuracy of the device increases as the device collects information; While the iPhone’s battery needs to be charged every day, the ring’s battery lasts a whole week.

This brings greater reliability to the data, especially for recording time and depth of sleep.

The ring shows, every morning, the state in which that body is to live the day. For example, when a person drank alcohol the night before, their mood is reduced and being informed of this creates the possibility for the user to choose better habits.

The more it is used, the ring becomes more accurate and even becomes capable of predicting the best times for the sleep cycle to begin.

In addition to rings, there are already bracelets, glasses, helmets, headphones, forehead bands, as well as, of course, watches and cell phones that are already fully inserted into our lives and now also take the lead in the medical revolution that is beginning.

In this phase of medical tailoring, these fantastic devices are perfectly adjusted to the patient’s body. We are experiencing a technological convergence where functional devices and multidisciplinary researchers have come together to develop a production line capable of saving lives.

Experts have named this new, fully individualized phase precision medicine, where standardized protocols, which often put the patient at risk, will leave the scene.

In a very short time we will no longer remember the primitive era in which medicine carried out its interventions in a generalized and invasive way.

From these changes, any type of treatment that has not been exclusively designed for each patient according to their genetic characteristics, their habits and their geographical location, will only be a regrettable memory in the history of our civilization; and the practices of collecting painful tests made from puncturing our veins and cutting our flesh, as well as invasive and dangerous treatments will be completely overcome.

Along with these fabulous transformations, however, we are faced with futuristic scenarios in which humans can be transferred to highly immersive smart cities.

Thus, automated gatekeepers and brain interfaces would report details of residents’ lives to the data centers, designing an environment guided by therapeutic information under the justification that this would be capable of guaranteeing everyone’s health.

Dystopia? Fantastic achievement? What do you think?


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