Will we have cured all diseases? Will hospital staff all be robots? It’s easy to come up with wild theories as to what the future of healthcare may look like. Whilst we cannot predict everything, recent social and scientific research alongside the latest technologies may be able to give us an idea of hospitals could look like in 50 years’ time. Here are a few speculations currently being made by today’s healthcare experts.
More ageing patients
The number of centenarians (people aged over 100 years) has risen dramatically in the last twenty years. This is largely down to our growing ability to treat acute conditions before they become chronic. 1 in 12 people are thought to be aged over 80 by the year 2039. This is a huge concern for the medical sector, as although we are managing to fight diseases at a quicker rate, the human body has not yet evolved to work effectively over the age of 80. And so, as a result, a large percentage of the population will need full time care. Will this be the job of hospitals and will new wards have to be opened specifically for the elderly? Or will this aging population require a new hospital of their own.
Different kinds of hospital
Not only will the aging population rise – the entire population is going to continue to boom. Hospital infrastructure will not only have trouble coping – hospitals in urban areas may physically reach a point where they can no longer expand. One theory is that there will become a greater number of different types of hospital. Specific hospitals will specialise in A&E, whilst ‘community hospitals’ will provide longer planned care. There may also be ‘local hospitals’ for short-stay treatments – the natural step up from GP referral. This could keep hospitals more organised and more efficient.
The digital transformation of healthcare is thought to be huge. One area that has been suggested is the incorporation of the Internet of Things onto (or into) our bodies. Initially those that are sick and eventually all of us may have monitors attached to our bodies that tell us when we are ill or require medical assistance. We will all be able to monitor out stats on our smartphones and then take action when required. This could help us to catch illnesses earlier in the bud, although it has also raised a number of dangers including causing health paranoia and potentially being a security threat (a hacker might be able to access your body monitors and your private health details could be held under ransom, with threats to release them online if you don’t pay).
Such technology will also give patients more power, which may have positives and negatives. Both doctors and patients will be able to prove their illness through raw data available to both of them. After treatments, patients may then be presented with the option for doctors to continue monitoring their stats afterwards. This could reduce the time patients are spent in hospital, as patients may no longer need to be kept in a bed to be monitored. It’s a moot point as to whether eventually we will all give our private health details over hospitals so that we are monitored 24/7. Instead of us deciding whether we need medical care, we could be prompted by the healthcare system before we even know ourselves. Would this be too intrusive? Or would we be willing to give up the responsibility of our own health to others?
Turning wards into pods
Modern hospitals are largely designed around the staff. Open wards allow doctors and nurses to monitor all the beds around them. However, such wards can have their weaknesses. They can be loud, they can spread illness quicker and they can make privacy of the patient more difficult. One solution may be to start giving every patient their own pod. This would create more of a sense of calm for the patient. Monitors in each room could allow staff to see who is most in need of help at all times – this could be viewed on a tablet carried by every doctor and nurse. Already some newer wards have started incorporating this design and it is thought that more will follow suit in the future.
Already, virtual reality is being used to practice complex operations. Previously, the only way surgeons could have ever got hands-on practice was through models or by scrubbing in for real. VR has allowed a realistic but safe way of surgeons to practice such procedures. Mistakes do not have real-life repercussions, allowing surgeons to keep practicing these complex operations so that when they do them for real, the success rate is higher.
VR is being greatly researched into in the medical field in order to replicate more complex and more realistic procedures. Meanwhile, some surgery is being entirely carried out by AI. It is thought that it will be a long time before robots will ever be able to complete all forms of surgery – with so many individual factors at play, some operations may always need some form of human interaction, if only to make complex decisions involving risks.
We may be on the cusp of defeating heart disease and cancer, but scientists believe it is unlikely we will ever cure all diseases. Superbugs such as MRSA have already proved resistant to antibiotics and a growing number of these are expected to develop. Defeating these will involve ongoing medical research – which will in turn require extra funds. Such medication will have to be privately paid for and could only be available to a rich few unless funds are able to be found from elsewhere that make this medication less expensive to supply.
Hospitals meanwhile will have to better designed to control infections. By this token, the idea of less open wards and more individual pods could prove a must.
Cryotherapy, the hidden beauty secret of celebrities to burn 600 calories in 3 minutes
Cold and ice have been used as a treatment for physical ailments for a long time. In ancient Greece,
Nowadays, is used as a fundamental therapeutic treatment of physical complaints such as sprains, dislocations, contractures, spams, pulled muscles and swollen tissues.
As well, to manage diverse pathologies symptoms as fibromyalgia, psoriasis, chronic pains, among others.
Cryotherapy benefits have gone way beyond of what we can imagine. Not only is a pain management treatment but has become a top model treatment of celebrities and supermodels.
Film stars, high performance athletes and celebrities like Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kim Kardashian are a few example of the many followers of this therapy that recommend it in their social media by showing their experience after each session because of it multiple benefits
What is cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy is the exposure of the skin surface of the body to very low temperatures (between -110ºC and -196ºC) by using a cryotherapy cabin which uses “vaporized” liquid nitrogen.
Because nitrogen has a very low temperature without applying extra cold, it can easily achieve the extreme temperature required for this treatment.
At a room temperature, liquid nitrogen can easily pass from a liquid state to a gaseous state. This is the reason of nitrogen use in this kind of treatments and this is why it is said that uses nitrogen “vaporized”.
When exposing the body to very low temperatures because of liquid nitrogen evaporation, the body responds at different levels involving the circulatory system, muscles and the neuroendocrine system. This happens because the brain receives a cold shock caused by a drastic reduction of body’s temperature. The hypothalamus releases series of substances in our body to combat an imminent hypothermia situation. Among these substances we can find dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, which increases blood flow, lipolysis and the production of free radicals catalytic enzymes, while reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines.
One of the main benefit of cryotherapy -and the reason why it is so popular, is the burn of calories. The extreme cold application causes a decrease in body’s temperature, and to compensate this situation the body generates energy by burning localized fat deposits –such as the fat in the belly, therefore a loss of weight occurs togheter with a swelling in the lower abdomen. This same process works for all the body fat deposits. It also reduces, considerably, the annoying cellulite giving an appearance of youth to the body. Additionaly, cryotherapy builds up tissues tone and prevents flaccidity, allowing the body to remain firm and giving the skin a smoothly and healthy look.
Among other benefits, cryotherapy has been proven to be a non-invasive treatment helping to manage and alleviate symptoms of chronic skin diseases such as psoriasis, neurodermatitis, dermatitis, seborrheic complex syndrome, eczema, erythematosis and scleroderma. This due to the peripheral vasodilatation that occurs because of the decreasing in body’s temperature, carring a large amount of oxygen to the body and increasing the blood flow.
Experts explain that there are several and diverse cryotherapy benefits:
- It helps fight migraine and insomnia.
- It improves blood circulation and inhibits varicose veins.
- It reduces inflammation, stress, anxiety and fatigue.
- It accelerates metabolism generating a boost of energy.
- It increases the caloric expenditure -between 500 and 800 kilocalories in the next few hours after a 3-minute session.
Finally, research show that cryotherapy helps in recovery processes and chronic pain issues, and it is also recommended for diseases such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis.
Is cryotherapy dangerous?
Like any other medical-aesthetic treatment, if handled properly there is no risk for our health and integrity.
Provided temperatures reached by liquid nitrogen are very low, it could cause burns when used incorrectly. This is why the skin is only exposed for a very short period of time on the skin -from 2 minutes to 4 minutes, and always in a controlled environment under medical supervision.
As a general rule, cryotherapy is a safe treatment for everybody. However there are exceptional cases where the use of cryotherapy is not recommended:
- People with heart problems and serious health problems, because the sudden decrease in temperature could have a negative effect on the health of people suffering from heart problems.
- People with little resistance to cold, as they would suffer excessively during the session due to the low threshold of pain towards the cold.
- Pregnant women and children. This due to negative effects this treatment could have on fetus of a pregnant women and in children it is not advised because of they are still developing their bodies.
Dental tourism, actually one of the most popular
Commonly known as dental holidays in Europe, it is actually a subset of medical tourism which is experiencing an important growth in this late times, since people from all around the globe is on a more frequent basis using their vacations to seek dental care outside their local healthcare systems. Today, globalization has created an interdependent market which is developing exponentially, where technologies spread out throughout the world quicker than ever, allowing people to find good dental care services at locations where costs are way lower than those at their places of origin.
But, why is this happening?
This has become an unstoppable phenomenon due to the economical differences existent nowadays amongst countries, especially between those that share borders. Obviously people seeking dental care, travel for a huge variety of reasons but an undeniable fact that affects decisions is driven by money, being able to have access to the necessary solution at a significant lower cost, is a strong element in decision making, even more when the quality of the service is as good as the local one only by passing over to a neighbor country.
For example, people from Austria travel to Albania, Hungary, Ukraine, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania and Bosnia. Citizens from the United States and Canada go to Dental Solutions Algodones Mexico in Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador; patients from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hungary, Ukraine and Poland; and from Australia to other countries of South-East Asia. Some people travel because the funding of public healthcare at their place of choice turns out to be more convenient, or the general access to healthcare at that specific place fits their personal needs.
Freedom of practice
But not all the reasons for dental tourism are due to economics. In Europe, dental professionals are allowed to move their practice from one country to another and they are required only a minimum set of qualifications approved by the country of destination, giving them a greater freedom of practice. This is intended by the union to standardize dental services all over the areas of its members. Furthermore, dentistry universities of the union have developed programmes to help their students on completing some of their education at foreign facilities. This standardization brings down barriers for patients mobility within the area.
How about quality?
Since the main reason in most cases is related to pricing, low prices come with dentists that offer minimum fixed costs, less government issues and lower expenses including those derived from insurance to patients with a high income. Outside the country of origin, many bureaucratic steps are inexistent, allowing dentists to focus more freely on their task. Procedures such as porcelain veneers or dental implants become affordable for many people that can not pay for them back at home. And right here is where the main questions about this matter are focused. First, does price differentials imply lower quality results?, and second, Is it safe to undergo a large scale dental procedure abroad on a short period of time?.
The answers here are NO and YES, and here is why. As previously mentioned, globalization has a lot to do with this, because the latest technologies, materials and techniques are more accessible today than ever before anywhere in the world. In the first case, a dentist with a proven professional record, will charge the appropriate fees according to the country where they work, and the lower price does not necessarily mean poor quality, it means that the patient comes from a place where income is higher but expenses are higher too. In the second case, it is easy to figure out that the answer is affirmative since, as stated in the previous point, quality has nothing to do with the price in this case, and regardless of whether the procedure is something simple or complex, if the work is well done, there is no reason to expect any further problems.
PRAMA, the new revolutionary interactive fitness program taking the wold by storm
This revolutionary new fitness and training method is proving that with the addition of modern technology you really can get amazing results in improving your fitness levels.
The technology used plays a vital role in every training session. This is PRAMA, where you train to the rhythm of music and lights set according to a session programmed to suit you. It add a true sense of fun and achievement. Demand for PRAMA classes are already high as word travels about this new interactive exercise, and it is now the new hot trend in gyms across the US and UK.
This revolution is reaching gyms that are at the forefront of modern fitness, who are adapting their available spaces to cater for this new concept in interactive fitness that combines music, choreography and technology.
But what is PRAMA? The easiest way to describe it is to quote Jennifer Coccia, the Director of Asfalt Fitness in New York, who said that her clients felt as if they were entering a crossover between an arcade game and a playground, “yet getting the best workout of their lives”.
The PRAMA system coordinates music, lights and time and for those who their normal training has become mundane can revitalise that motivation and help them get that joy from working out once again. This is what lies behind the whole concept, bring the fun and party element to fitness, in an immersive, interactive and very motivating experience.
“A crossover between an arcade game and a playground”
The treadmills, static bicycles and all the usual paraphernalia you expect to find in a usual gym are put aside to make way for what seems to be like “a crossover between an arcade game and a playground,” says Marcos Requena, CEO of Pavigym.
But PRAMA is not about improvisation or random workouts. These approaches are not productive for getting the best results. Instead the trainers will push their clients through a series of electrical choreographed workouts, interacting with them through the floor, walls and other areas, to complete a series of exercise circuits with high intensity.
PRAMA is already being spoken about in all the major media, and we are seeing many famous athletes, such as FC Barcelona, Boca Juniors or Nicolás Anelka players have trained using the PRAMA methodology. It is really taking off across cities like New York, London, Paris … all this has only served to increase demand that is exceeding all expectations of the gym directors who have deployed it..
The users of gyms are demanding it because, even though the primary focus of improving fitness and health is still there, because it is provided through a fun concept, it becomes enjoyable for those who previously would have found the work out a real chore. You almost forget you are working out!
What can you expect from the PRAMA experience?
The musical factor is key to the experience, it has long been known that music helps with a workout. PRAMA goes one step further and throws lighting into the mix as well to make it truly immersive. The LEDs work in time to the music and move at the rhythm of those taking part. The walls and the floor are all part of the game.
To give a practical example, those who have spent their childhood playing the Twister from time to time, -the game consisting of putting one foot in the blue circle, one hand in the red one and so on until you can’t do anymore without falling over- can understand a little of what this revolutionary method is about, although in a very simplified way.
Another example is those console dance games carried out at home where you have to follow the choreographed moves, or using a dance mat, is similar and known to be great for fitness and losing weight.
Of course the issue with those examples is that movement is restricted, you can’t stop or pause without the game ending. It is not adaptable to help you achieve fitness goals and it doesn’t help you grow. You can waste a lot of calories stopping and starting.
PRAMA easily adapts to the needs of adults, families, children and athletes
The system is programmed according to each person, be it an elite athlete or a beginner but you can also find programs for children and families. The sessions are 45 minutes and are beneficial for the body and mind, so they can even be rolled out in centers with children with ADHD and other problems, but also can be practiced as a family as a way to improve the time spent together but also improving fitness.
Each 45 minute session can also be ramped up for more intensive workouts, and gives a huge advantage to practitioners of the force program. In this program the floor and walls are complemented by medium to high load accessories, to transition the interactive elements into a more HIIT format that doesn’t work well for everyone.
So there really is a workout intensity for every age group and capability, including an innovative one in which you can play a PRAMA version of basketball, a combination as healthy as addictive, which can only be a good thing when it comes to forming those lifelong fitness habits.
In fact if you know you’re going to the gym, it will make people more inclined to use their membership and actually go, and better attendance means better member retention.
A definitive full body workout suitable for any age and ability, and highly adaptable.
It is not only for losing weight, although results there are pretty good so far with PRAMA, given that it is a system more likely to be stuck with long term. It is also a change to gain strength and agility, and have fun with friends and family.
The ground and walls are sensitive to pressure, and the interactive screens and light combinations that attune to the body’s highs and lows during a workout show just how clever this new system really is.
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