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Reinventing Health Care: The Coevolution of Biology, Technology, and Culture
We are living in a sci-fi world full of bionic limbs, wonder drugs, 3D-printed organs, lab-grown muscles, and brain-computer interfaces.
The quality and longevity of life have never been more assured, as the field of health reaches a new zenith every day.
Gene sequencing, brain mapping, and vitals tracking are quantifying and personalizing health faster than we can process it — and supercomputers are helping us make sense of it all, leading to new breakthroughs.
We are witnessing exponential growth in the field of health. We will all become citizen doctors, bionically enhanced and genetically hacked.
This coevolution of technology and biology — accelerated by culture — will lead us to become the masters of our evolutionary destiny.
2 We are living in
a sci-ﬁ world full of bionic limbs, wonder drugs, 3D-printed organs, lab-grown muscles, and brain-computer interfaces. The quality and longevity of life have never been more assured, as the ﬁeld of health reaches a new zenith every day. Gene sequencing, brain mapping, and vitals tracking are quantifying and personalizing health faster than we can process it — and supercomputers are helping us make sense of it all, leading to new breakthroughs. We are witnessing exponential growth in the ﬁeld of health. We will all become citizen doctors, bionically enhanced and genetically hacked. This coevolution of technology and biology — accelerated by culture — will lead us to become the masters of our evolutionary destiny.
3 THE MOBILE HOSPITAL Hospitals
will soon be able to outsource many of their current functions to tech-empowered patients, ushering in the mobile hospital. THE MOBILE HOSPITAL Hospitals will soon be able to outsource many of their current functions to tech-empowered patients, ushering in the mobile hospital.
4 HOSPITALS ARE EMBRACING SILICON
VALLEY’S LATEST APPS & WEARABLES 70% Percentage of health care organizations that will invest in consumer-facing mobile apps, wearables, remote health monitoring, and virtual care by 2018 More than a dozen top hospitals are already rolling out pilot programs of Apple’s HealthKit service. Meanwhile, Google and Samsung aren’t sitting idly by; they are securing hospital partners of their own for Google Fit and S Health, respectively.
5 THESE DEVICES ARE BECOMING
OUR GO-TO DIAGNOSTIC CENTERS… Samsung is developing a wearable sensor that can monitor brainwaves to detect the early stages of a stroke. Columbia University biomedical engineers invented a smartphone attachment that can test human blood for HIV or syphilis in 15 minutes. SniffPhone will employ NaNose breathalyzer technology that can “smell” a user’s breath to diagnose cancer or other serious diseases.
6 …AND BECOMING MORE SEAMLESS
IN OUR EVERYDAY LIVES 100+ Number of doctors and researchers employed by Google who are working speciﬁcally on health projects, including a contact lens that can monitor glucose levels
7 SENSORS ARE TURNING OUR
HOMES INTO STATE-OF-THE-ART LABS DynoSense launched a mobile device that can measure more than 50 vital signs with high accuracy in less than a minute. Teague created a “doctor in a box” concept — a smart stethoscope and teleconferencing camera that can measure movement, heart rate, and temperature — with existing technology.
8 MANIFESTATIONS IN WIDER CULTURE
Even in our day-to-day, we’re tracking movements with wearables and sensors. “Quantiﬁed Self” Movement Microsoft Kinect Intel’s MICA Fitness Trackers
9 SO WHAT? Self-tracking and
monitoring have become ingrained in our culture as we collect data on nearly everything we do. It’s a natural progression that apps, wearables, and in-home sensors are becoming sophisticated enough to be diagnostic centers in the palms of our hands.
10 THE MOBILE HOSPITAL Hospitals
will soon be able to outsource many of their current functions to tech-empowered patients, ushering in the mobile hospital. THE DAWN OF THE SUPERHUMAN Not only are we using our devices to track vitals, but we’ll be adding them to our bodies, all the while growing organs, bones and tissue in labs as replacement parts.
11 At Johns Hopkins University,
double amputee Les Baugh was able to control two robotic arms with his thoughts by relying on signals from surgically reassigned nerve endings on his shoulders. WE CAN CONTROL BIONIC LIMBS WITH OUR MINDS
12 EXOSKELETONS ARE INCREASINGLY SOPHISTICATED
AND RELIABLE In June 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the ReWalk™ Bionic Suit — the ﬁrst personal exoskeleton — for marketing. DARPA granted Harvard researchers $2.9 million to develop a soft exosuit which resembles a pair of black leggings.
13 A multidisciplinary team in
Switzerland will be running a clinical trial of e-Dura — an implant that has the potential to allow paralyzed patients to walk again following a spinal cord injury. IMPLANTS WILL ENHANCE, OR IN SOME CASES REPLACE, EXOSKELETONS
14 WE ARE GROWING HUMAN
TISSUE, ORGANS AND BONES IN LABS University of Tokyo hospital researchers are creating a bio-3D printer, which would use stem cells, growth proteins and a synthetic substance to print bones, cartilage and joints. Duke University researchers announced they have grown human skeletal muscle that responds to different impulses, signals and drugs. EpiBone is working on growing bones from a patient’s own cells using a CT scan, a decellularized bone, the patient’s stem cells and a bioreactor.
15 MANIFESTATIONS IN WIDER CULTURE
From video games to runway shows, we are celebrating the augmented human. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Prosthetic-Pride Performers like Lisa Bufano (shown) and Viktoria Modesta Disabled Models in Fashion & Media
16 SO WHAT? Exoskeletons and
bionic limbs have long been part of a wider cultural fascination, appearing in a variety of media over the years. As these sci-ﬁ depictions become reality, artiﬁcial limbs are becoming appreciated and even embraced; amputees are developing “prosthetic pride.” We will soon enter a world where replacing a failing organ or augmenting a paralyzed limb will be a readily available solution for all.
17 THE MOBILE HOSPITAL Hospitals
will soon be able to outsource many of their current functions to tech-empowered patients, ushering in the mobile hospital. HACKING LIFE’S CODE Scientists are mapping and scanning minds and bodies, sequencing genomes, and studying microbiomes — collecting data that will make the human body entirely hackable.
18 Brain scans can give
doctors insight into a patient’s behavior, allowing them to recognize which treatments may or may not work — in a sense, doctors are able to read the patient’s mind. SEQUENCING AND MAPPING WILL LEAD TO OUR GREATEST ADVANCEMENTS 800,000 Number of customers who have handed over their DNA to 23andMe since 2006 $100M Cost of sequencing a human genome in 2001 $1,000 Cost of sequencing a human genome today
19 SCIENTISTS ARE SINGLING OUT
AND MANIPULATING GENES Stanford University bioengineers, with the help of others, have developed programmable genetic code that allows for the activation and deactivation of genes in living cells. At ETH Zurich, volunteers using a wireless headset were able to use their thoughts to send signals to an implant embedded in a mouse. This allowed them to turn the mouse’s genes on and off.
20 WE WILL SOON LIVE
IN A WORLD OF “DESIGNER” BABIES In February 2015, Britain became the ﬁrst country to allow a “three-parent” IVF technique that has the potential to prevent inherited mitochondrial diseases. The process combines DNA from the parents with healthy mitochondria from a female donor. Scientists at the University of Bath were able to precisely edit mouse DNA at the point of conception, a ﬁrst step toward allowing human parents to choose their children’s genetic codes. 1 in 6,500 Number of babies born with mitochondrial disease
21 SCIENTISTS ARE ALSO LOOKING
TO USE THE MICROBIOME TO FIGHT DISEASE Gut bacteria has been linked to brain function and mental health, as well as playing a role in obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. In a number of studies, modiﬁed C. noyvi bacteria have been shown to produce an anti-tumor response. 100 trillion Number of bacteria in the human gut microbiome
22 MANIFESTATIONS IN WIDER CULTURE
Companies across categories are looking to exploit our genetic code and microbiome, while we examine what these efforts will mean for society. Google Genomics Probiotic ShotProbiotics in Skin Care Books on Genetically Engineered Babies
23 SO WHAT? As we
learn more about the genome, neural connections and microbiome, we grow closer to being able to manipulate and control our health at the most minute levels. Today, some solutions are simple — such as consuming probiotic foods — but scientists will soon have the precision and technology to produce only speciﬁc and intended results.
24 THE MOBILE HOSPITAL Hospitals
will soon be able to outsource many of their current functions to tech-empowered patients, ushering in the mobile hospital. NEXT-GEN DRUGS Next-gen drugs will consist of precision medicine, nanomedicine, and even today’s illicit drugs, with supercomputers determining what will be the most eﬀective treatment for the individual.
25 In President Obama’s 2015
State of the Union address, he announced a call to action for the U.S. to lead the way in precision medicine — identifying and treating diseases based on the patient’s unique genome. DOCTORS WILL USE OUR GENOMES TO TAILOR UNIQUE DRUG COCKTAILS
26 NANOMEDICINE WILL LET US
DIAGNOSE AND TREAT SPECIFIC SITES Google is developing a nanoparticle pill with the ability to identify cancers, diseases and heart attacks before they cause irreparable damage. University of California researchers have created acid-fueled micro devices that can travel and drop off payloads inside living mice, without producing any negative effects.
27 SCIENTISTS WILL IMPROVE EXISTING
DRUGS AND ANTIBIOTICS Biologics — expensive treatments made from living organisms — will soon be replaced by biosimilars, copycats that will be a fraction of the cost. Scientists recently discovered a new antibiotic called teixobactin, which is effective against a number of drug-resistant bacteria that are turning routine procedures and curable diseases deadly once again.
28 RESEARCHERS ARE REEVALUATING MARIJUANA
AND PSYCHEDELICS "We have some preliminary data that for certain medical conditions and symptoms, that marijuana can be helpful.” –Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General "Classic psychedelics may hold promise in the prevention of suicide, supporting the view that classic psychedelics’ most highly restricted legal status should be reconsidered to facilitate scientiﬁc study.” –Journal of Psychopharmacology
29 SUPERCOMPUTERS WILL FIND THE
MOST EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS German researchers have developed a “synthetic organism on a miniature chip” that can simulate the human body when testing new drugs. 10-20 Number of chemicals a human scientist can check for toxicity in a year 23 million Number of medical papers in the National Library of Medicine accessible to IBM’s Watson in milliseconds 10,000 Number of chemicals a robot scientist can check for toxicity in a day
30 MANIFESTATIONS IN WIDER CULTURE
IBM’s Watson introduced the general public to supercomputers, just as the SOTU did for precision medicine. Meanwhile, drug culture has gradually become part of the mainstream. State of the Union IBM’s Watson Marĳuana Legalization Films, Television, Books, etc.
31 SO WHAT? As we
ﬁnd ourselves in an evolutionary arms race with bacteria and viruses, supercomputers will give us an edge in quickly and accurately determining the best formulas for success. These drugs will lead to highly effective treatments and reduce the need for invasive procedures, saving countless lives. Meanwhile, we will be more open to new (or old) types of drugs, as we can better pinpoint the results.
32 THE MOBILE HOSPITAL Hospitals
will soon be able to outsource many of their current functions to tech-empowered patients, ushering in the mobile hospital. KILLING DEATH Medical breakthroughs will lead to a day when life can be prolonged indeﬁnitely, forcing society to rethink its stance on death.
33 DEBATE WILL INCREASE AROUND
THE PURSUIT OF DEATH WITH DIGNITY In February 2015, Canada’s Supreme Court overturned a 1993 ban that prohibited doctors from helping facilitate the deaths of patients with severe and incurable conditions. 54% Percentage of U.S. doctors who favor aid in dying Brittany Maynard became the face of death with dignity laws, publicizing her intention to take a fatal dose of prescribed barbiturates after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
34 SOME OF THE GREATEST
MINDS ARE EXPLORING WAYS TO END DEATH In 2014, hedge fund manager Joon Yun launched the Palo Alto Longevity Prize, a $1 million prize to "hack the code of life” and extend the human lifespan beyond 120 years. 15 scientiﬁc teams are now competing. Genome-sequencing pioneer Craig Venter started Human Longevity, while Google has invested heavily in Calico, which has the ultimate goal of extending human life. Elysium Health is producing a pill containing chemicals that lengthen the lives of mice and worms in laboratory settings, and marketing it as an over-the-counter vitamin pill that can ﬁght aging.
35 SCIENTISTS ARE WORKING ON
WAYS TO UPLOAD OUR MINDS TO COMPUTERS MIT researchers working in the new ﬁeld of “connectomics” are attempting to create a comprehensive map of the human brain’s connections — the ﬁrst step toward creating an artiﬁcial brain to which we can upload memories. OpenWorm is an open source project seeking to create the world's ﬁrst “organism in a computer.” Scientists and programmers were able to create software modeled on the neurons of a worm's nervous system and use it to independently control a Lego robot. 85 trillion Individual neurons comprising the human brain, each with up to 10,000 connections
36 MANIFESTATIONS IN WIDER CULTURE
Our culture is fascinated with immortality — whether through biological or technological intervention — yet we are still exploring what it means to die with dignity. Humanoid Robots Transcendence - Artiﬁcial Intelligence Immortality
37 SO WHAT? Our society
will undergo fundamental changes as we grapple with indeﬁnite lifespans. We need to reevaluate how we manage resources, who can live indeﬁnitely, and when to eventually end life.
38 WHAT OTHER DEVELOPMENTS ARE
OCCURRING IN HEALTH? Mental Health Tracking Robot Caregivers Pills That Mimic The Immune System Genetically Modiﬁed Insects Fight Disease Controlling Genes With Our Thoughts Using Parasites To Treat Autoimmune Ailments
39 WHAT’S NEXT FOR ORGANIZATIONS?
1. Consumers will be faced with an overwhelming amount of data. Help them contextualize it and provide ways to take action based on the results. 2. Data privacy (or lack thereof) is top of mind for many consumers, so be transparent about how you are using health records, DNA data, etc., especially since this information is highly personal. 3. Take inspiration from the latest medical advances for creative activations or products — there might be more relevance for non-health care brands than it seems at ﬁrst glance. 4. With marijuana gaining legitimacy in mainstream culture — partly from the backing of the medical community — be prepared for nationwide marijuana legalization and the business opportunities it will present. 5. Be aware that people are not only living longer, but better. Older generations will remain active and expect products with the same high quality and impressive design as they used when they were younger.
41 SCANNING THE WORLD FOR
CULTURE Join us. Every day from 12-1PM EST we hold a culture brieﬁng in our NYC ofﬁce to discuss the day’s most important 30-40 cultural signals (culled from 10,000 signals from all over the world). We spend the hour connecting the signals to our clients’ businesses – i.e., how does the signal impact strategy, innovation and content? The rigor of doing this every day allows us to see patterns and make horizontal connections (think: cultural “muscle memory”), which enables us to formulate an informed POV on where the world is headed and why.
42 OPENING MINDS & CREATING
POSSIBILITIES Sign up on our website to receive updates and future reports: www.sparksandhoney.com For more information: 212.894.5100 email@example.com @sparksandhoney facebook.com/sparksandhoney
43 INFORMATION SOURCES 4. IDC
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