Science & Technology: “The Future of Global Health”
In the last few decades, the world has seen a lot of advancements being made in the healthcare industry. This has largely enhanced the expected lifespan of us, human beings, and has also allowed us to live healthier lives.
If you think about it, just a couple of years ago, AI and its use in medicine were thought to be dream far away. But here we are today, and there is no one that can deny the rise we are seeing in intelligent devices that will soon be able to perform surgeries, that were thought to be difficult and needed years of experience, easily.
There are deep learning algorithms introduced to the market already that are able to diagnose the presence or absence of tuberculosis in chest e-ray images. The accuracy these algorithms have shown are much better than expected. In fact, they have achieved an accuracy rate of 96% which is better than many human radiologists with years of training in the field.
Although, yes, technology is growing and bettering itself every second, there is one thing that we’re missing. Still, to this day, many countries in the world do not have proper access to healthcare.
If we want to succeed and lengthen our stay here on the Earth, the global health system must adjust to the population growth. The poorest and most underdeveloped countries have the highest population rates, and an increasing number of the elderly. Preventing illness is the first step if you want to ensure a healthier population. Next come the costs of healthcare, and human resources.
Healthcare costs are at a rise, and this is true for both the US and the rest of the world. For underdeveloped countries with low or no sources of income, it can be quite a challenge. Lack of human resources is also creating quite an obstacle in the development of the country’s economy.
The United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) reported that about 56% of the world’s rural population, and an astonishing 83% of Africa’s population, live without critical healthcare access. The report may be from 2015, but the numbers haven’t changed as much as we’d hoped.
By 2050, there will be nearly 9.7 billion people in the world. Technology is growing at a fast rate but so is the cost, and not enough attention is being given to areas with little to no healthcare access.
Many countries around the world do not even have access to first aid, or hygienic products. Women continually face challenges with menstruation and maintaining hygiene. Lack of sanitary products and the appropriate knowledge of menstruation are also missing. These are the basic needs of a woman and a simple example of how much there is still left to cover.
As a society, we must work together to not only develop our technology, but also to reach into communities without healthcare access and provide them their rights. If we want to build a stable future together, this is the place to start.