Posted in Health Care
Today, I’m in Canton, Ohio (Home of the Football Hall of Fame) to address the board of the Aultman Hospital Foundation on “the future of health care.” I will cover a great many advances in technology but one thing I intend to emphasize is the changing nature of trust. For years, people have trusted their physicians and doctors, and while I believe this will continue in the future I also believe healthcare professionals will need to adjust to a new reality. As social networks become more powerful, people are going to increasingly rely on—and trust—their networks for information and advice.
Now, many of you are probably saying, “Yes, that’s true for many areas (such as restaurant recommendations and the like) but damn if I’m going to rely on social networks for healthcare advice.” Don’t be so sure. The accelerating pace of change in the field of genomics is about to deposit on our collective doorstep an avalanche of data. This information is going to overwhelming individual healthcare providers and they will struggle to make sense of it all. One way the public will make sense of their genomic data is to reach out and create social networks of individuals who share the same genes or a similar genetic profile.
My prediction is that these networks will be vastly more knowledgeable than most individual doctors and physicians, and that many people will come to trust their “genomic networks” as much—or even more—than their individual physician for information about the preventative actions and medications they should take to deal with their unique genetic markers.