Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Health Time Capsule

If we developed a health time capsule to be opened in 2112, what would we include in it? How would the folks who open it view our "state of the art" healthcare?

Since I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, let's look at the technology we now have for diagnosing and treating RA.

A time capsule for RA should include all of the tests that are currently done to diagnose and monitor the condition. An RA titer, ANA, CRP, Sed Rate, CCP, and a CBC to name a few.

We should also include examples of some of the more common DMARDs. A bottle of hydroxychlorquine, sulfasalzine, leuflonamide and methotrexate are all good examples. 

Next, we need the biologics. Humira, Enbrel, Remicaide, Rituxan, Simponi, Actemra, Cimzia, Kineret, and Orencia.

We probably need to toss in an X-ray machine, MRI, and an ultrasound since those are used to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of RA.

Since many people with RA have severe limitations, we need to throw in a handicapped parking permit, a scooter, a wheelchair, canes and crutches. In addition to mobility aides, the time capsule wouldn't be complete without jar openers, IMAK gloves, braces, heating pads, rice bags, specialty utensils, gas cap turners, non-slip mats, just to name a few of the specialty devices we use every day.

Since our huge time capsule is overflowing, we'll seal it up with this little sampling of things used for RA diagnosis, treatment and daily life.

What will the people who open our time capsule in 2112 think of the contents? I hope they would experience shock at toll taken by a disease that is no longer around.

Maybe they will find many of the diagnostic techniques archaic and torturous as we do many of the treatments from a hundred years ago. For example, in 1912, oxidizng the blood was considered state of the art. This was done by electrification. 

Much of our current technology has only been recently developed. One example of recent technology is a common diagnostic tool used today. The MRI was only developed in 1970's by Dr. Raymond Damadian. In 1977 he built the first full-body MRI machine.

Since technology increases almost daily, I'm confident that great strides will be made in the diagnosis and treatment of RA and possibly the eradication of the disease completely by 2112.


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