Digital Healthcare Technology:
Digital healthcare technology has come a long way with advanced developments but nevertheless, raises many concerns regarding bioethics and compatibility. Here, we discuss 3 major concerns of humanity related to the taking over of digital healthcare in the near future after COVID-19.
When X-ray technology was discovered for helping healthcare, people were afraid of what this invisible optical miracle might do to their thought process. Similarly, many other inventions like the telephone have induced fear and concerns from humanity throughout history. Although the concerns are now directed towards how artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual reality can change human lives, these concerns always arise from the lack of familiarity with technology.
1) Can Healthcare Companies Spy on Us?
With healthcare turning digital and telemedicine being the global talk, sensors are widely used that analyze patients’ health habits and stream it to their smartphone or digital communication systems for their caregivers to take careful note and act accordingly. In a future scenario, companies might provide patients with insurance if patients allow access to their health data including blood pressure, ECG, insulin levels etc. But this might raise a concern on data safety for the patients. So, how can patients get to know if their health data is safe with companies? Patients often do not have information about the health companies but this has to change for good. It will be great if patients or their caregivers allow the health service providers to collect data only if they get approval from FDA with HIPAA standards. Always remember, the more information you have about the healthcare company, the safer you are!
2) Can Virtual Reality Sever our Reality Ties?
The use of Virtual Reality has just recently started for relieving patients of stress and pain and a great example of that is VisitU, which makes contact possible with a classic 360-degree camera in the patient’s surroundings so that patients can relax. The use of goggles and smartphones to produce the virtual reality has been a genuine concern for patients to be affected by addiction, nausea and cardiac arrest. Thus, a better approach to this serious concern would be a gradual approach in introducing virtual reality in the way of healthcare.
3) Can Genome Sequencing make us Gods?
Genome sequencing can save lives undoubtedly with the advent of personalized medicine but with time, genome engineering has been regarded as a strong hypothetical tool in creating life. Therefore, genome sequencing can lead to serious questions in bioethics by helping scientists in an attempt to play “the Creator”. These genetic analysis technologies might result in the complete mapping of human beings and can also detect diseases or other ailment conditions. Therefore, the future might hold humanity responsible for taking out the surprise quotient from a person’s health condition by predicting diseases and death. With more and more advancements, genome sequencing and engineering might also be the pathway to creating babies with our desired genetic constitution, and that is a serious concern! Although this might be unethical, and most people might believe that these technologies should be strictly restricted to detection and therapeutics, the future generation might gather up their spirits in the “creator” venture.
More scientific developments like nanotechnology and regenerative medicine are getting digitally aided and top-notch global research is ongoing to make them successful. To be frank, concerns will always be existing for future technologies but the most important way to deal with them is education; it is crucial to teach people regarding scientific inventions and technologies. This will help in rationalizing a lot of blind fears and digital technologies will gain a more favourable ground for future generations.