I often think about how important affordable and prevalent access to healthcare is to our future. More than 29,000 people die every day from treatable and preventable causes and more than 45,000 people from general lack of healthcare. Many other issues, such as poverty, economic, and war stem from insufficient access to healthcare.
Simply put, access to healthcare is the greatest challenge of our generation.
I believe that if you could choose one technological advancement to help the most people in the world, connecting every person on the planet to quality and affordable healthcare is probably it. As history shows, societies and individual quality of life have dramatically improved in direct correlation to improved access to affordable healthcare.
From the elucidation of human anatomy in 1543 to the invention of body imaging in 1895, and to recent advancements in pharmacotherapy, the effective treatment and prevention of disease has extended life expectancy, reduced disability and holistically increased public optimism beyond what anyone could imagine. The overall improvements have been outstanding.
The 21st century is one of transition. I am confident the 22nd century is going to be the century of complete democratization of healthcare. How exactly this transition will unfold is a mystery, but the challenge is ours to make it happen.
Currently, most of the focus on improving healthcare is targeted at a political level. In many countries, such as the United States, healthcare is systematically broken. Governments, which tend to focus on solutions that increase complexity, cannot effectively solve the problem of providing access to quality and affordable healthcare across the globe.
Although some may cite countries such as Sweden, Singapore and Switzerland (among others), which objectively are working quite well, these models have yet to be effectively proven at scale.
Moving forward, we must focus on instantly connecting every person on the planet to quality and affordable healthcare.
Our future depends on it.