Judging by all the comments I received, it sounds like many of you were very moved by the information I shared in Part 1 about the Deep Dark Net, Hacking, etc. https://www.ceocoachinginternational.com/articles/week-disruption-singularity-university-part-1-scary-stuff-didnt-know-existed Certainly, the advancements in technology have brought with them many new challenges which must be addressed, but not all of the news from The Deep Dark Web is bad. Last Thursday, The FBI & Europol coordinated a string of busts & seizures that took down some of the largest online drug sites. Score one for the good guys. Speaking of good guys, in my introduction to this series, I mentioned the incredible advancements being made in Medicine, Health & Wellness. Things are happening is this space that are literally shifting our modern day paradigms about our longevity and possibly even immortality. I’m fascinated about how these disruptive advances in medical science will result in many of us living to 100+. And our kids will live much longer.
In 2001, The Human Genome Project finished encoding the first complete set of genetic information for humans (DNA sequences). The cost for this project was $3,000,000,000 (enough to buy a B2 Bomber and still have enough to buy Tumblr). By 2012, thousands of human genomes were completely sequenced and the resulting data is used worldwide for scientific advancements that most believe will lead to revolutions in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. By the end of 2013, the cost of sequencing was only a few thousand dollars and this year, the cost is not much more than a chest x-ray. By 2016, the cost will be so low that all of us if interested will likely have our sequences mapped.
A real world example was shared with us regarding how powerful this can be. Through sequencing, one subject discovered that he had a 1 in 3 chance of being affected by macular degeneration (a condition resulting in loss of vision as we age). The standard risk for this condition is about 7%.
After learning this information, the subject went to a research ophthalmologist and is now involved in clinical trials. As for most conditions, people don’t know they have it until it’s too late but he has a 20-year warning. Early diagnosis of conditions and diseases will allow doctors to practice preventative medicine rather than reactively treat diseases.
In the coming years, medical technology will change many of the things we take for granted.
- In November 2013, Verinata Health began offering to women in California, a non-invasive pre-natal test to replace amniocentesis. Women with higher risks of carrying fetuses with Down or Edwards Syndrome do not need to have a needle inserted into their bellies. The new test is faster, cheaper and most importantly, safer.
- Today, many conditions can be diagnosed through an iPhone app and automatically sent to a doctor to recommend treatment. The entire process can be completed in minutes.
- Mammograms and colonoscopies will be replaced by blood tests within the next 4-6 years.
- Baby clothing is available that monitors infants’ temperatures and other vital signs and sends alerts to your phone when it receives abnormal readings.
Another exciting advancement is in the area of 3D Printers. Yes, printers in 3D. On the surface, no big deal and most of us have read stories about these devices being used to print a variety of products, including guns. Some of you may have also heard about the Chinese company that used them to build 10 homes in 24 hours. So it may or may not surprise you to learn that we are very close to being able to print functioning human organs.
A company called Organovo is using this technology to build living human tissues and is on schedule to print the first functioning liver within the next year. Reproducible 3D tissues that accurately represent human biology will enable ground-breaking therapies by:
- Partnering with biopharmaceutical companies and academic medical centers for disease modeling and toxicology.
- Providing researchers with the opportunity to test drugs on functional human tissues instead of living people in clinical trials.
- Creating functional tissues that can be implanted or delivered into the human body to repair or replace damaged or diseased tissues.
As you can imagine, I’m really just scratching the surface with this article. One of the speakers during our week at Singularity was Dr. Daniel Kraft. In July 2013, he gave a TED Talk on where medicine is headed. Here is a YouTube link to an 18-minute video that is well worth your time if you are interested in learning more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNda62ZLN9o.
Part 3 of this series will be about how computers and robotics are already changing the world we live in. One last thought about health and biology. Within the next few years, the advancements in brain reading technology will make it all but impossible to lie without being detected. How’s that for a game changer!