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The Edge of Medicine: The Technology That Will Change Our Lives Hardcover – October 14, 2008
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“The work is informative, coherent, extremely well written, and easy to read; it will make readers acutely aware of the vast number of high-tech advances with potential to have a profound, positive impact on medical diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through professionals/ practitioners; general readers.” ―CHOICE
“(A) spirited, feel-good look at an area of medicine that's making progress.” ―Kirkus
“The Edge of Medicine is a revelatory look at the amazing technology that will drive our medical future, from proton beams to mind-reading brain chips. Dr. Hanson is the ideal guide: knowledgeable, thoughtful, and fun.” ―Jack El-Hai, author or The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness
“A rare glimpse into the future of medicine, through the eyes of a Renaissance thinker with a remarkable grasp of history and modern science, combined with deep compassion for patients. He sees linkages among vastly different sciences, such as physics, nanotechnology and computer sciences, that others often miss. He envisions a melding of scientific advances in physics and chemistry with those in communications technology, leading to an exciting era of personalized healthcare that seemed impossible only a few years ago. Throughout, he never fails to focus on the human side of healthcare; few could lead us there so elegantly. ” ―David E. Longnecker, MD, Director at the Association of American Medical Colleges
“A riveting and readable account of the future of technology in health care. Dr. William Hanson makes a convincing case that the ultimate goal of tiny nanomachines and gargantuan proton beam facilities is a medicine that is preventative, efficient, and personalized.” ―Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
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Top Customer Reviews
However, the technologies reported on are not new. These innovations have been in practice, albeit under the radar, for the last 3-5 years. In the coming years, they will form a new layer of "standard of care" demand. For instance, an Army Medical Hospital that treats soldier wounds with a regenerative medicine resolution will do the same for a civilian auto accident survivor. Little by little, what is offered as cutting edge to one group will soon be offered to another. Yet, hospital system economics will dictate care delivery based on ability to pay. More and more, we will see standard of care and affordability barrier trajectories go up in a direct relationship. Those who want to read more about the upcoming disparities in futuristic medicine should read Joel Garreau's book, Radical Evolution.
The adoption curve's economic dilemma is examined further.
The author accurately portrays stakeholder intent in the cost of healthcare: the provider and insurer want to maximize revenues. This means costs are maximized for payers. The payer is the only stakeholder that wants to reduce their costs. What does this mean for the adoption of life saving and cost saving products and services? Providers employ a competitive advantage by advertising a - high quality, low error, reduced pain, and reduced time of stay - patient solution.Read more ›
Genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience, robotic surgery: these are some of the tools of twenty-first century medicine. The author details the use of some of them in the book, and it is amazing to think of just a short time ago they were viewed as purely science fiction. In fact what is being done now and in a few years makes the Hollywood imagination seem sophomoric by comparison.
The author though also goes beyond a mere reporting of technological facts, for he exposes some of the finagling and politics in hospitals in the United States. One example that particularly stands out is his opinion on the "successful" hospital, these being characterized by their collection of "certificates of excellence." They acquire these by what he refers to as the "parasitic" certifying organizations that arbitrarily define novel measures of excellence, and proceed to convince hospitals, through marketing or regulatory pressure, to conform to the artificial standards that they have created.Read more ›
Dr. William Hanson is a practicing physician and technophile at the University of Pennsylvania who writes in a tone that any patient desires of their personal physician: direct, honest, and reasonable.
An excellent book for anyone interested in the future of medicine.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tells the reader what new instruments and procedures are available and what to expect as improvements when you need medical help in the future.Published on February 27, 2013 by Dpmartin
Hanson is a fine popular science writer. He has a gift for explaining complex ideas, often using vivid analogies, and a good sense of humor. Read morePublished on April 13, 2009 by algo41