Two future scenarios that I have tracked are healthy life extension and radical life extension. To extend our heathy lives is to ensure that we not only live longer, but we do so in a healthy and productive way. The implications of healthy life extension are wide reaching. When combined with several other societal shifts, we find ourselves moving from a four-segment life cycle to a five-segment life cycle.Continue reading
Living An Extra One Hundred Years
One of the future scenarios that I have focused on for some time is healthy life extension. When I mention to an audience that the first person to live to 200 has already been born – it gets quite the reaction. That scenario is not as far-fetched as people believe. This recent article explored research in the field of senolytics – drugs that work to eliminate cells that degrade tissue function. The drugs are already showing promising results and could become available on the market within the next decade.Continue reading
Healthspan Is As Important As Lifespan
I like the way Daniel Davis described the prospects of humans living both longer and healthier lives. In his article on the topic of ageing, he points to scientific advancements that are leading to life extension. At the same time, he underscores a key tenet of the journey: healthspan is just as important as lifespan. This lies at the heart of a key future scenario identified as healthy life extension. That one scenario has many thinking about a world where people live much longer, healthier lives. Imagine a key institution like retirement. As much as we believe that our lives have always been segmented into three dominant phases (education, work, retirement), those phases represent a small portion of human history. This is an example of the institutional change that lies ahead. Now imagine a scenario referred to as radical life extension.
Artificial Intelligence May Predict Breast Cancer Risk
The best way to reduce cancer mortality is to prevent cancer from developing in the first place and accurate assessments of risk are essentiallambert leong – Artificial Intelligence Can See Breast Cancer Before It Happens
When looking at possible futures for health and wellness, healthy life extension and reducing the risk and impact of chronic diseases are at the top of the list. Amazing scientific and technological progress are leading the way. Artificial intelligence is poised to play a major role in the health and wellness future, and this recent article provides one example. The success of a deep learning study of breast cancer risk gives those involved confidence that predicting risk of late stage cancer is possible.Continue reading
Therapeutic Agents That Target Cancer Cells Directly
Two scenarios in our emerging future are healthy life extension and radical life extension. The former extends are healthy lives and the latter pursues immortality. At the heart of both scenarios lies astounding and rapid advances in science and technology. A recent article provides a great example while exploring the possibility of cancerous tumors eliminating themselves. Per the article, a new technology developed by University of Zurich (UZH) researchers enables the body to produce therapeutic agents on demand at the exact location where they are needed.Continue reading
Radical Life Extension
At the furthest point of the future scenario curve sits radical life extension. I use this emerging future visual to depict the exploding number of building blocks that combine to shape the future, challenging our ability to track its complexity. Convergence across aspects of science, technology, economic forces, politics, society, our environment, and a growing conversation around ethics, is creating a highly uncertain world. At the heart of the pace dynamic is the exponential progression of science and technology – reflected in the first curve on the visual.Continue reading
The Probability Of Living Past 110 Is On The Rise
I posed this question in 2018 in a post on healthy life extension: Has the first person to live to 200 already been born? I ask that question in various forums to provide a good example of how one scenario can challenge current institutions and traditional thinking. In that earlier post, Johnty Andersen, had this perspective on that question:Continue reading
Watch A Robot Perform Surgery On A Banana
As we march relentlessly towards an Automated Society, scenarios emerge to provide signals. How far will we take this automation scenario? My post last week focused on sports and a robot that Shoots Baskets with stunning accuracy. My post for today looks into robotic surgery, which is traditionally defined as any surgery done with a complete robotic surgical system. It was originally developed for the military so that surgeons could remotely do open surgery on wounded soldiers in the field. This Article on the topic describes it this way:Continue reading
Nanobots To Improve Our Health and Someday Connect Our Minds
Nanotechnology is defined as the manipulation of matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers. Wikipedia had this to say about the field:
Nanotechnology may be able to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications, such as in nanomedicine, nanoelectronics, biomaterials energy production, and consumer products. On the other hand, nanotechnology raises many of the same issues as any new technology, including concerns about the toxicity and environmental impact of nanomaterials, and their potential effects on global economics, as well as speculation about various doomsday scenarios. These concerns have led to a debate among advocacy groups and governments on whether special regulation of nanotechnology is warranted.
Reversing The Aging Process
Advances in life sciences have scientist believing that the first person to Live to 200 has already been born. This Healthy Life Extension scenario has major societal implications. In this scenario, we are not just enabling people to live longer, but we will also be healthier. This healthy longevity challenges traditional views of retirement, wealth, savings, our social contract, and the phases of our lives, among other things. Now, you may ask, how is it possible to extend our lives in a healthy manner? In a Post from 2018, I shared a perspective from Johnty Andersen, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Anti-Aging Medicine researcher:Continue reading
Revisiting the Intersections That Shape Our Future
The building blocks of our future are numerous, and they are intersecting in ways that drive rapid shifts. I Visualized this phenomenon a while back, trying to depict the complexity of our world and the challenges it represents. It was Futurist Gerd Leonhard that gave me the idea. As someone who used my Anchor Visual in keynotes, he reflected on how impactful it might be to demonstrate the convergence that was occurring across the visual.
Eradicating Disease and Disability
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the impact of Artificial Intelligence on Healthcare. An aging population is likely to place even more stress on a costly and ineffective healthcare system. There are other new innovations that are likely to improve healthcare efficiency and offer new ways to address global healthcare challenges. One such innovation is described in this Recent Article authored by science editor Jackson Ryan.
Longevity Escape Velocity
Google’s head of engineering, innovator and futurist Ray Kurzweil often discusses the concept of longevity escape velocity; or the point at which science can extend your life for more than a year for every year that you are alive. Kurzweil believes we are much closer than you might think. In fact, he believes we are just another 10 to 12 years away from the point that the general public will hit this longevity escape velocity.
Artificial Intelligence and Disease Diagnosis
The path to breakthrough innovation is usually paved by compelling reasons to address challenges. China’s flourishing economy and continuous progress of medical reform has driven rapid expansion in their healthcare system and significant service improvements. There are over one million medical institutions in China and insurance covers more than 95% of the Chinese population. Average life expectancy has reached 76.4 years – higher than in some high-income countries. As with other countries however, population aging has put enormous pressure on their healthcare system – a phenomenon likely to play out everywhere as baby boomers retire. New innovations are likely to improve healthcare efficiency and offer new ways to address these global healthcare challenges.
Healthy Life Extension
One of the paradigm shifts on the future scenarios curve is healthy life extension. When I mention to an audience that the first person to live to 200 has already been born – it gets quite the reaction. Extending our healthy lives has many implications to very long held beliefs. These challenges to our belief systems are the reason I believe humanity is heading towards another Tipping Point – that moment in time where intuitions and beliefs built over long periods experience a considerable shift. It is the reason I titled my presentation “A Journey through the Looking Glass”.
Through the looking glass is a metaphorical expression. It means: on the strange side, in the twilight zone, in a strange parallel world. It comes from the idea of Lewis Carol’s novel: “Through the Looking–Glass“, and the strange and mysterious world Alice finds when she steps through a mirror. I firmly believe we are stepping through the looking glass.
Healthy life extension is a great example of a scenario on the curve upending long standing institutions. As visualized below, multiple building blocks converge to deliver this scenario.
Loneliness, Aging, Robots and Health
At the Health Summit in D.C. last week, I used this emerging future visual to describe the combination of building blocks that enable our healthy life extension – one of many emerging future scenarios. This two minute video captures that portion of our panel discussion.
One of the key issues that emerged during our panel dialog was the acceleration of aging and death associated with isolation and loneliness. Could robotic companions solve this problem? Do these advances – many that feel like science fiction – combine to solve the challenges that likely emerge as we live longer? Can Sophia be a robotic companion?
Milken Institute Health Summit
I had the pleasure of participating in the Milken Institute Health Summit earlier this week. A truly inspiring two days at one of the best run conferences I’ve attended. Great discussions with Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi, Senators Corey Booker and Ben Sasse, and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. The details and a video of the panel discussion I participated in are included below.
One of the most important public health findings in the last two decades is that medical care is far from the only factor in how long people live and the quality of their health. A key step to improving health outcomes for older adults–and reducing the costs to the health-care system–is to better integrate health-care and supportive services with housing and transportation at local levels. This session explores effective methods and solutions that can drive change and result in healthier aging on a vast scale. How can we encourage more communities across the country to make the needs of their older residents a priority as they plan for the future? How do we improve the critical connections between housing, health care, technology, transportation, and urban planning?
MODERATOR: Anand Parekh, Chief Medical Advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center
Catherine Anderson, Senior Vice President, Policy and Strategy, United Healthcare Community and State
Frank Diana, Principal, Tata Consultancy Services
Omar Nagji, Lead, Health Partnerships, Lyft
Allison Silberberg, Mayor, Alexandria, Virginia
Pattie Dale Tye, Segment Vice President, Bold Goal, Humana
View the full panel discussion Here.
Creating a Wellness Ecosystem
I am a firm believer that platform supported ecosystems will ultimately displace our current industry constructs. Given the uncertain nature of this transition, Future Thinking is a critical skill for any leader or organization to embrace. I have used the Driverless Car scenario as a way to describe future thinking and in this case, the progression towards a mobility ecosystem. I did a similar piece on Connected Health, which is likely the early manifestation of an emerging wellness ecosystem. This recent report on The Future Health Ecosystem provides a glimpse into the transition towards this wellness ecosystem. The author describes an expected shift of $1 trillion of the $3 trillion spent on healthcare to new players and business models; which could have devastating consequences for incumbents.
A Forbes article on this recent report looks at the major life transitions that the two largest generations in history are in the midst of – and the profound impact it will have on healthcare. Some of the very interesting findings – and clear drivers of a wellness ecosystem – are:
In my continued look at disruptive scenarios, the focus shifts to Connected Health. In a recent White Paper, the term is used as an umbrella description that covers digital health, eHealth, mHealth, telecare, telehealth, and telemedicine. Analyst firm IDC defines it as “a broad spectrum of technologies that use telecommunications to facilitate the exchange of health information and delivery of care across a geographic distance as well as manage chronic conditions and promote health and wellness.”
There are several drivers that make this both a viable and desperately needed scenario. According to the IBM Institute for Business Value, inefficiency in the Healthcare ecosystem wastes over 2 trillion USD per year. According to the popular Internet Trends Study produced by Mary Meeker each year, healthcare costs have reached 17% of the U.S. GDP and 27% of health spending is wasted. The same study found that over 25% of family income is likely to go to health spending in 2015, and 50% of bankruptcies are driven by health costs.
The last two posts focused on disruptive scenarios driven by the future introduction of autonomous vehicles. However, the context for viewing disruptive potential must be broad – not just one possible scenario. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Healthcare industry with a broader lens. The authors (Chunka Mui and Paul Carroll) of The New Killer Apps do a masterful job of doing just that. They make a rather bold statement in a chapter dedicated to the Healthcare industry – specifically:
“Without a course correction, hospitals will lose their central place in medicine and many will disappear.”
Strong maybe, but not hype. The risk is real and not limited to Healthcare. The visual below is a great representation of the law of disruption. The progression of technology is riding an exponential curve. With this acceleration comes a progression of disruption where incremental business change can no longer keep pace. Disruption and the need for transformative actions occur when this scenario takes hold, and the enterprise has not taken steps to respond. A failure to respond in this fast paced, change oriented world is likely catastrophic, but the opening for killer apps depicted in the visual presents both risk and tremendous market opportunity.
The Law of Disruption (source: Unleashing the Killer App)