The Next Phase?

I don’t know what the next phase of Western medicine will be, but I think it’s going to be prevention.

The future of medicine seemed more clear to me after reading an interview with Craig Venter, who was instrumental in mapping the human genome a few years ago.

Most doctors and caregivers are good and try to do a good job. At the moment though, the medical delivery and access problems in the US are a big obstacle, plus there’s the standard American diet making 2/3 of the people fat and unhealthy.

Delivery, access, and diet are big but solvable issues and the foundational scientific concepts of Western medicine are still sound. It’s the current delivery system that needs fixing, along with the general population’s bad eating habits, before we can move ahead to the next phase of medicine.

In the early phase before the scientific method was introduced, doctors relied on imagination to diagnose and treat disease, usually imagining things like the vapors and blood that needed to be drained.

The next phase and first phase of modern medicine was identifying disease in a systematic and scientific fashion, getting all the Docs on the same page.

After the identification period, medicine transitioned into treating disease, the phase we’re in today. The treatments being medicinal and mechanical solutions to diseases which work because they’re tested and repeated.

Now that the human genome has been mapped and with computing power continuing to grow exponentially, I think we’ll soon see a move in medicine to preventing disease. An individual’s propensities and susceptibilities to particular conditions will probably be easily available around the corner. It might take ten or fifteen years, but I think it’s on the way.