Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I saw the Future!

Over the last month I have been privy to the future. Let me tell you it is not pretty. At a local hospital we have seen a dramatic spike in patients. Normally we see this spike every year. But this time it is worse. We have so many sick patients that we have had to put patients on life support on the normal floors (Nursing ratios of 1nurse:6patients) instead of the ICUs (nursing ratios of 1:2)

What is going on? It is the future, and it is inevitable. The last phase of "America's Greatest Generation" is now succumbing to the wounds of chronic disease. Emphysema, Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, Metastatic Cancer. You can only live so long. More importantly, we have been able to keep you alive much longer than if we were living in the 1960s or even the 1980s.

The future is here. This economic and medical strain of this critical care will break the system. How can we fix it? We can prevent the chronic diseases. How do we do that? We act before the disease has time to damage us. We use molecular detection, we take family histories, we use genetic screening. But who would pay for that? Smart consumers, that's who.

By identifying risk, we can reduce behaviors that kill us. How do we do this? We won't be able to under the current system of episodic care. We need a paradigm shift!

The Sherpa Says:
Personalized Medicine is that paradigm shift! Prediction, Prevention, Privacy is what is needed here. I have seen the future. We can change it, but first we must suffer from the effects of our unwillingness to change.

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