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Envisioning the far-out future of medicine is easy. The hard part is seeing the path between today and that future. Many promising trends in medicine fizzle out simply because healthcare mainstays like Big Pharma, Medicaid, the FDA and insurance companies carry too much inertia. Innovation can only enter the picture from the edges.



    Reports of a slowing in Moore’s Law are inaccurate. Graphical processing units, used for artificial intelligence, have kept it on track.


    Not only is the cost of sensors going down 15% per year, but their quality and sensitivity is simultaneously going up at the same rate. Ultra-low-field sensors that ping the network less frequently reduce the cost 10x.


    Already, we can print 3-D devices and stents that are a precise fit for any patient. Bioprinting tissues, even organs, will be necessary for every hospital.


    Imagine hospice pods where the dying are virtually transported to sunny beaches. Imagine replacing medical charts with visualizations of a patient’s different systems.


    By 2020, 7 billion people will be connected to the internet. 5G wireless will increase data transfer speed by 100x over 4G. Phone plug-ins turn a phone into a medical device that can read scans, connect to sensors, process lab tests and offer telemedicine.


    The future of security is splintering data into infinite fragments stored all over the world. Each fragment is meaningless on its own. The index is kept in unhackable blockchains.


    Massively more powerful than classical computers, quantum computers will let us create tomorrow’s drugs in a fraction of the current R&D cycle—and easily break the military-grade cryptography protecting today’s medical records.

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