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Tue Mar 26, 2013, 08:47 PM

This gadget makes (could make) our health-care projections obsolete

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/25/this-gadget-makes-our-health-care-projections-obsolete/


Scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed a minuscule implant that measures various blood chemicals and sends the results, via Bluetooth, to your smart phone. The upside? Your smartphone knows when you’re about to have a heart attack. And it can call someone on your behalf. It is, after all ,a smartphone.

This particular device might prove, for one reason or another, to be bunk. Many seemingly magical inventions do. But it’s not alone. The founder of Blackberry is launching a $99 million fund to “to support entrepreneurs developing real-life ‘Star Trek’-style blood-test scanning devices.” And every major health device company knows there’s billions and billions to be made here.

I’ve asked experts in health technology whether they believe devices along these lines will be commonplace in 25 years. They invariably do. And they’re almost certainly right.

Consider how dramatically these devices will change medicine. Right now, the medical industry is fundamentally reactive. Something goes wrong, and we go to them to fix it. This will make medicine fundamentally proactive. They will see something going wrong, and they will intervene to stop it. It’s like “Minority Report” for health care.

This is why I don’t put much stock in projections of health-care spending that run 30 or 50 or 75 years into the future. Will biometric devices in constant communication with the cloud make medicine more or less expensive? Will driverless cars prolong life in a way that saves money or costs it? Will the advances in preventive technology make medicine so effective that we’re glad to devote 40 percent of gross domestic product to it? Who knows?

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Reply This gadget makes (could make) our health-care projections obsolete (Original post)
Bill USA Mar 2013 OP
Gidney N Cloyd Mar 2013 #1
nightscanner59 Mar 2013 #3
Hoyt Mar 2013 #2
nightscanner59 Mar 2013 #4

Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Tue Mar 26, 2013, 08:55 PM

1. Keyword: Implant. No f***ing thanks.

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:38 AM

3. Not neccesarily. Only 20 years ago...

Still required arteriopuncture to make any blood gas reading. Now you can buy a finger scanner at Walgreens.
Spectroscopy was in it's infancy. Now spectroscopic machines do most of the tests that were done with the microscope and eye. -- the combination of Magnetic resonance, low radiation spectroscopy is nearing breakthroughs that WILL (Yes WILL!!) make Dr McCoy's instruments seem obsolete... no invasive anything required.
Here in silicon valley hundreds of researchers are working hard at developing these very technologies.
If you had told me 22 years ago I'd be working the machines I'm doing right now...

I'd have told you were watching too much Star Trek.

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Tue Mar 26, 2013, 08:58 PM

2. That is exciting. I really don't think it will reduce costs though.


It would likely increase results, but short-term it might identify a lot of conditions that would otherwise go untreated resulting in more costs than savings from earlier diagnosis (although long-term costs would likely improve) . But what do I know.

Full speed ahead on this one.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:51 AM

4. Disagree again. Short term costs will lead to major savings.

As these very devices will lower the frequency the most costly procedures done to intervene in many late-stage conditions when symptoms become apparent. Timely interventions equal far, far more cost effective treatments-- less pacemakers, bypass grafts just to name a few where timely treatment with pharmaceuticals or minimally invasive balloon procedures WHEN these conditions are caught earlier-- just to name a couple-- that's already proven with harmless U/S screenings. Reduce treatment time and "downtime", discomfort and mortality rate, more general workforce productivity and downtime... absolutely.
The older generations go to doctor cause it hurts here.
Younger ones will go because:
1. Obamacare: they are paying in and want results out.
2. Devices such as these will be hot commodities.
3. Grandpa's and Grandma's messy operative wounds and death scared them.

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