Post from 2034: Medical Advances

Greetings again from 2034. I had a visit from my personal doctor last week and It got me thinking about how much medicine has changed in the last twenty five years.

The basics are roughly the same. We've cured a few diseases but there are still more and even the ones we have cured are still problematic in poorer parts of the world. We are still constantly struggling to keep antibiotics ahead of the diseases, but on the other hand there are some major changes.

About 10 years ago we officially turned the corner and rise in life expectancy went above 1 year per year. We are at about a 1.1 year increase in life expectancy per year now. There is no way to know how long they will able to keep this up but the upshot is that so long as they can continue to increase life expectancy at that rate most of us aren't going to die from sickness at least not for a couple hundred years.

There are numerous reasons for the increase in life expectancy. We understand the human genome well enough now to actualy fix things as opposed to just treating them. In addition we can use the same knowledge to clone nearly any organ you might need. This means that there is no longer a finite supply of organs so long as you can live long enough for it to be grown. And once you have it there is no need for medicine.

It's certainly not Utopian though. As advancements have been made there have been considerable problems. Designer drugs have flooded the market and though they can remove all the side effects the same machines that make them can make mind altering drugs that also have no side effects and steroids that are completely invisible and safe. This has given the government no choice but to change a great many laws.

The other major advancement is in bio-computers and implants. About 4 years ago the first bio-computers that really worked came on the market. They are able to interact directly with the human brain and body. You can now store memories on a hard drive or have artificial legs that are far superior to natural human legs. The issue with this is that because they are better there is a section of society that is mutilating themselves in order to get artificial arms, legs, eyes and ears that are better. No one has yet built a entire body for the brain but there is a discussion of it.

This may all seem a little overwhelming but few people ever question technology that will keep them alive longer and it came slowly to us over twenty five years.