Health 2050: The Realization of Personalized Medicine through Crowdsourcing, the Quantified Self, and the Participatory Biocitizen

When considering the critical health challenges of the current era, it is easy to think of the 18% of the U.S GDP being spent on health care, health outcomes that lag those of other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, J

Melanie Swan

2012

Scholarcy highlights

  • When considering the critical health challenges of the current era, it is easy to think of the 18% of the U.S GDP being spent on health care, health outcomes that lag those of other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, J
  • Crowdsourced health studies and quantified self-experimentation projects conducted individually and in groups are emerging as an important complement to traditional clinical trials and other established mechanisms of health knowledge generation
  • While criticism has been levied against quantified self-experimentation and crowdsourced health study participation as being the special-interest activities of a small minority of those and potentially obsessively, interested in health tracking and improvement, it can be argued that these pioneers are critical in facilitating the widespread realization of preventive medicine
  • What is encouraging is that growth is already evident in different areas of the preventive medicine ecosystem
  • It was soon realized that single mutations or single nucleotide polymorphisms do not account for much of disease causality, perhaps only up to 5%
  • Consumers too are more active, and engagement in participatory health efforts could continue to grow as devices, applications, and other technologies make data collection, health-monitoring, and behavior change easy, inexpensive, and unobtrusive
  • Is scientific advance critical, and the philosophical and cultural context for moving away from the fix-it-with-a-pill mentality to the empowered role of the biocitizen in achieving the personalized preventive medicine of the future

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