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What is Medicine 3.0?

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

The next revolution of Medicine is coming. Learn about the breakthroughs that got us to where we are today and what a future with Medicine 3.0 might look like.

 

Overview:

Given that discussing Web 3.0 has gone out of favor, I want to introduce a new 3.0 concept called Medicine 3.0


Coined by physician and medical researcher Dr. Peter Attia, Medicine 3.0 describes the next generation of healthcare. This new era of medicine will leverage cutting-edge technology to bring a more personalized and proactive approach to patient care than ever before. However, before trying to understand what this future of medicine might look like, it is important to understand how we arrived at the present state.



Medicine 1.0 (Pre-1850's)

Prior to the 17th century, there was no concept of science as we know it today and no understanding of the scientific method. Medical care entailed “experts” coming up with explanations and treatments for ailments without any facts behind them. Some unpleasant, but common examples include using leeches to treat skin infections or drilling a hole in the skull to help with headaches. It was not until the 1600s did the scientific method begin to emerge through the work of Sir Francis Bacon. He helped develop the process and thinking around formulating a hypothesis and undertaking systematic observation, measurement, and experimentation to test its validity. This structure and focus on experimentation helped to set the foundation for modern science and enable the remarkable progress that has occurred over the last 200 years.



Medicine 2.0 (1850's-Present)

The emergence of the second era of medicine began in the late 19th century and was enabled by three key elements. First, the work of Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch led to the formation of the Germ Theory of Disease. It was the idea that microorganisms, unable to be seen with the naked eye, are what cause disease and illness. Prior to this, there was no notion of the health benefits of washing your hands or personal hygiene. Second, advancements in statistical tools and methods created the structure for scientists to run proper controlled trials. The acceptance of Germ theory, combined with the scientific method and controlled trials provided the tools necessary to study the human body. Over the last 200 years, these factors have led to an almost unimaginable improvement in our understanding of biology which has led to a healthcare system that is highly effective at addressing both acute illness and injury. Today, we can confidently transplant organs or create vaccines for diseases like the flu, which is something that only a few generations ago would have considered to be science fiction.



Medicine 3.0 (Present-Future)

As we look ahead, the key difference between Medicine 3.0 and our current healthcare system is the focus on personalized and preventative care.


In the future, rather than checking vital signs once a year and treating symptoms only when they arise, physicians and healthcare providers will rely on data from wearable devices, advanced health screenings, and lifestyle assessments to get ahead of potential issues. Continuously wearable devices that measure basic health markers like blood glucose, heart rate, and blood pressure will allow for negative trends or anomalies to be caught earlier and more often. Tests like liquid biopsies for cancer detection and gene sequencing to screen for hereditary diseases will become commonplace as the cost to administer them drops. All of the data generated from these tests and devices will provide vast amounts of information, which can be studied.


This exponential increase in health data will require new technology to help physicians and researchers spot trends and provide insights. For example, artificial intelligence will read and synthesize the millions of medical papers published yearly, allowing physicians to stay updated on their field's latest discoveries and practices. Because of these tools, there will be a shift from relying on intuition and experience to data-driven decision-making. Physicians will leverage big data analytics to help craft customized and preventative treatment plans tailored to patients' needs rather than following a one-size-fits-most approach.


The transition to this preventative and personalized care will not come overnight. Healthcare in the United State is not designed to incentivize preventative and proactive care. There will be great resistance from big industry players who do not want to move away from the lucrative business they are currently in. However long it takes, this shift will bring with it dramatic improvements to both lifespan and health span.


 

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