Patient treatment current vs in the Future
Do you think the current methods to treat patients are appropriate?
with the number of intelligent ubiquitous equipment growing in the patients lives, wouldn't it be easier to opt for a preventive strategy in medicine? rather than act when already it may be too late? In addition to the costs of the treatments that can be more honerosos the later the diagnosis is made.
Another question is whether the current hospitals/clinics/doctors/health staff are properly prepared to cope with the increasing need of patients-especially with the rate of population ageing rapidly in numerous countries of the European Union. Wouldn't be better to move on monitoring patients outside the hospital environment, perhaps in their homes and during their daily life instead of using hospitals and health-ressources?
Some excellent questions. I believe you are correct - the need for preventive medicine is great and growing, and our capacity to do this is not being pursued adequately or rapidly enough.
There are options to leverage IoT devices like smart watches and phones to decentralize medical advising and preventive treatment. However, given the distributed nature of healthcare, there are not sufficient market incentives to develop a society-wide strategy: hospitals work in hospitals, insurance companies with their clients, and public health and government have limited influence. Some insurance companies offer incentives for participating in proactive health programs, and the use of tracking devices may grow here and support new public health approaches. Not without some privacy and security risks, of course. However, these tech tools will be inadequate without more substantial shifts in the policy spheres associated with health.
Ultimately, a serious and efficient healthcare strategy should involve food security, food deserts, school meals, restaurant transparency, product transparency, and regulation of all the above. This paternalistic approach would be highly controversial; see the push back against the Obamas' health school food efforts, or the difficulty of Philadelphia passing a soda tax. But health, food, medicine, and exercise should be viewed in a holistic fashion if we are to use data effectively, instill healthy habits, and lessen the severe concerns with medical costs and quality of life.
The USA's healthcare is based on a reactive approach to medical treatment instead of on a preventative approach. Most to all medical doctors diagnose and treat patients after an illness or injury occurs. They rather provide a "pill" to cover up or mask a patient's symptoms rather than trying to find a cause and to treat or cure the cause of the patients symptoms. This "reactive based medicine" approach needs to be changed in the early stages of a medical students training. More training and emphasis needs to be placed into education of "prevention and preventing" illnesses and injuries. This can be accomplished through more effective patient education, focusing on vaccinations, healthy eating, more exercise, more use of "CAM =common alternative medicine", such as Chiropractors, massage therapy, exercises like tai chi. yoga, acupuncture, physical therapy, maintaining a healthy weight, reduce or eliminate all tobacco products.
Other forms of "healthcare in the future" that is being implemented today is the use of "TeleMedicine". The use of cell phone, Skype and video conferencing with one or more doctors to help diagnose and treat a patient. The use of robots in surgery and for delivering in hospital pharmacy medications to nurses stations. Another source of localised healthcare can be accomplished via the use of Community Care Paramedics, Nurses and Emergency Medicine doctors. These professionals can visit a patient after a hospital discharge to make sure the patient is healing properly or taking their medication on time. This would reduce the chance of the patient being readmitted to the hospital. Think of this as "more of a doctor's house call" that occured in the 1800's and early 1900's in the USA.
Fire depts and Emergency Management Analysts/Planners train and prepare for a wide variety of emergencies in their jurisdictions. This is called "All Hazards approach". With this said and repeated many times over, hospitals, emergency workers, the CDC, US military all need to continually train for not only the most commonly seen diseases but train for the lesser seen diseases including biological, chemical, radiation, etc. The military has used Agent Orange and other chemicals during the Vietnam War. These soldiers are getting more health problems the older they get due to their war time and non war time military service. Same for the Gulf War veterans with the "Gulf War Illnesses/syndrome". Many research studies have been done by the VA =Veterans Administration, Universities and other institutions to figure out what agents were used during their military war service and what is causing an increase in their health problems. These health problems often times occur many long years after the service member left the military. Civilian healthcare workers need to have additional training to be able to better diagnose, treat and hopefully cure these aging veterans. There conditions could/can also be affecting their family members (kids) when they try to reproduce. So many of the health conditions could/can have a multi-generational effect.