In 2016, I saw innovative and unexpected developments:
Drones promise to bring quickly and safely medication to villages and remote places. A company like Vayu has already deployed such drones in Madagascar. In addition to medication, the drone can bring back to a healthcare facility blood samples for testing.
Philips and other startups like Clarius are introducing wireless ultrasound transducers. These are transportable in a small bag and use your tablet or phone as screen. Ultrasounds are traditionally prohibitive in cost and too heavy for individual usage.
Virtual reality can help reverse complete paralysis. Others companies are using VR to distract children from needles or transfusions.
People can now control prosthetics through thoughts. I’ve also seen the first Cybathlon with very interesting devices. See video here with commentary
GPS sports watches and fitness trackers are now mainstream, with companies like Apple, Fitbit, Garmin and Samsung offering a variety of devices.
When I was in high school, I was fascinated by ancient history.
The Egyptians built massive pyramids, lavish temples and invented hieroglyphs, amongst other amazing inventions. I remember being awed by how they could get the resources together for these undertakings.
The Greeks invented philosophy and built the foundations of Europe. Between city wars, they had time for sculptures, poetry and Olympiads.
Even though healthcare is free in Canada, I haven’t taken any antibiotics or any over the counter medicine in the past ten years. No aspirin, Tylenol, Vicks, Advil. Nada.
It’s not because I reject the healthcare system. If I get bitten by a dog or a snake, I will gladly get my anti rabies or anti venomous shot. If I get pneumonia, I won’t say no to a dose of antibiotics, to the contrary. In fact, if you get sick, I highly recommend you to consult your doctor and follow their prescription.
It is easy to rely on medical advice, various experts or studies. Remember however to listen to what your body tells you.
When faced with a health or body issue, the Internet, friends or various experts will tell you many and different diagnoses. It is important to listen what they have to say and inquire about possible solutions.
Yet, it is your job is to listen to your body on a continuous basis, not the doctor’s. Like Plato and the allegory of the cave, doctors and other experts can only see symptoms through proxies. Indeed, you tell about your symptoms in a certain way, tests are delayed and partial, and no-one didn’t live your life to know about your unique health history and identity.