What universal healthcare should look like

Mashable 30 Jun 2021 05:32

What universal healthcare should look like

The struggle to cover every American may continue for decades — and we need to think differently about cheap health tech and prevention first.

by Chris Taylor

NOTE FOR 2021 READERS: This is the 17th in a series of award-winning open letters to the next century, now just one generation away. Kids born this year in the U.S., and nearly 50 other countries, are expected to live to 2100 and beyond. These letters examine what the world could look like then — and how we can make the best scenario happen. 

Dear 22nd Century,

If you still have such a thing as a doctor’s office, it might look something like the one I walked into in San Francisco the other week — one with no paperwork, no tablets, no visible computers at all. Instead, at a five-year-old startup called Forward Health, a doctor asked questions for nearly two hours in front of a giant touchscreen with a model of my body. We covered the interconnection of everything, from allergies to diet to workouts to that ultimate stress reducer, mindfulness. Summaries of my answers appeared on screen, not yet written by AI, but by trained medical scribes listening in remotely. At first that seemed slightly creepy, but I soon saw the point: For the first time in my medical life, a physician didn’t have to spend half his time playing stenographer in a secret file. We were both on the same virtual page.

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