to Forum discussion.
Where will the most exciting and useful health discoveries be coming from, in coming years?
These are the sorts of conversations I entertain in my new book Undoctored — Why Health Care Has Failed You And How You Can Become Smarter Than Your Doctor. Where will all be most exciting and useful practical tools for health becoming from — the drug industry, the medical device industry, multinational corporations, the US government?
I predict we're in a new age where there are new rules being applied, and new tools available to us. One of the most exciting things we have available to us now are tracking tools for health. For instance, a mathematician in Boston recorded the voices of thousands of people with Parkinsonism; various degrees of severity of Parkinson's Disease, as well as people without Parkinsonism. He developed a mathematical algorithm that allows voice recognition to diagnose Parkinson's Disease. It's more accurate, more precise, than an MRI — and has virtually done it almost no cost, as compared to the many thousands of dollars of an MRI (coupled with the toxic effects of the gadolinium dye they use to obtain the images).
Even better, this software analysis is also quantitative. MRIs are not quantitative. They're crudely qualitative, good/bad, in between. The voice recognition is quantitative. This inexpensive tool; what if it were made available to the thousands of people with Parkinsonism. They have now a means to track progression, or reversal, regression of their disease, or at least stabilization. Imagine what that means — put this measuring, tracking tool, in the hands of thousands of people with the condition. They're not going to explore new drugs or new procedures on the brain. They going to explore simple, natural, accessible things, like maybe nutritional supplements or some kind of new health practice.
What will happen, I predict, is someone will accidentally, fortuitously, observe in, Galveston Texas, that doing X slowed the disease down, maybe even caused it to reverse — maybe some combination of supplements or some other combination of strategies. He reports this in some collaborative online discussion. Somebody in San Francisco says “That's interesting. I want to try it.” He or she tries it, sees the same effect. He or she shares that experience. Someone in New York tries it, and then a bunch of people collaborate online with it: let's try it with a hundred people. Here's what we're going to do; we all collaborate and report our experience, over whatever, three months, whatever time period required, depending on the condition you're talking about.
Think where that could lead us, multiplied by thousands and thousands of times, thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people. We're going to be flooded with incredible solutions. We'll also learn what doesn't work, right, but that's okay. That's part of the learning process, the process of exploring our health for answers. Think of the edge we'll get. We'll get answers like: these two supplements reverse this condition, or slow it down — not some drug at $3000 a month, that requires an injection, and all kinds of out-of-pocket costs, in addition to insurance burden — or some implantable device at tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit the healthcare system and may work (probably doesn't).
Think of it: we're in this exciting new time where the answers in health will be coming from people like you and me, because we collaborate. We're going to have access to new tools to identify and track various conditions. The answers will be inexpensive, accessible, safe, and we can prove whether they are effective or not. That is the future of health; the kind of health I call Undoctored.