How I practice medicine has changed for the better because of technology.
In the future I foresee no pandemics, cancer becoming a diagnosis of the past, and much of our body readapted bionically with life expectancy increasing easily over 100.
Some of this sounds far away, yet we are within decades of much of this coming to fruition. But can technologic advances be dampened by greed? I have already seen this happen.
Growing up in Los Angeles, I used to ride the Red Car. Yes, hard to believe the city had historically the largest electric railway system in the world! What happened to it?
Rumor has it, tire manufacturers in cahoots with the auto industry wanted expansion of the freeway system, which eventually happened, enhancing their profits and shelving the Red Car in 1961.
Los Angeles and surrounding communities now suffer from road congestion, pollution, time delays, and fuel consumption, while LA Metro plays catch-up in attempting to develop public transportation. Past rumors could be true.
Medically, might there be technology that is being shelved to the detriment of patients? Really? Do you mean there could be greed in the medical field lurking out there?
I suffer from hip arthritis. Stem cell research is still in its infancy, but even now we are able to duplicate joint synovial fluid in the laboratory so in the future I can inject it, providing a cushion for my arthritis.
Could the medical-industrial complex not let this happen and shelve this technology?
Joint replacement, especially of the hip and knee, are big money makers for hospitals, doctors, rehab facilities, and those making implants of metal, ceramics and plastic joints. This equates to billions of dollars, which they will not relinquish, especially if limitless synovial fluid can be made from a stem cell, requiring a simple injection.
So my question is, how much advancement can be made medically if greed holds us back? Instead of a few decades, will advances be prolonged to the next century, resulting in a slowdown in improving our quality of life?
It comes down to the public recognizing greed inherent in society and the nature of human beings, and then doing something about it.
Preventing pandemics and cancer, and improving quality of life, should be preserved for the upcoming generation of children and grandchildren.
Therefore, we must ensure every effort is made to put greed on the shelf.
Dr. Gene Dorio