Futurists talk about an era where humanity will be free of all disease; where the notion of taking medication or going to a hospital would be baffling. Perhaps. First, let us define what a disease-free world means. If we accept that a disease-free world is the absence of major diseases such as cardiovascular malfunction, diabetes, diseases that afflict your pancreas, kidneys, liver, lung, and heart. A world in which you do not get cancer or inflammation. A world in which Parkinsons and Alzheimers can be resolved. If this is acceptable, then we may not have noticed, but we are close to our goal.
The average life expectancy has increased globally to well into the 70’s. Earlier death would occur due to “incurable” illnesses such as tuberculosis or even a wound. No longer. Science has long since solved all of this. Most diseases that we suffer from today are entirely preventable with proper diet, exercise and sleep. If something slipped through, Doctors are more likely than not able to cure or at the very least mitigate the risk of the disease. We are probably only a short while away from being able to prevent or address diseases that afflict the brain. You may ask why so many people are sick in that case? Valid question, but the answer is deceptive.
First, many of us suffer from preventable diseases. We should not have got them in the first place. Our lifestyle including malnutrition or access to clean water caused disease. Worse ignorance caused diabetes and in many cases even cancer. Second, medical aid is still to scale to be universally available. This disparity means treatable diseases go untreated. All we need are two simple things – public education about health and universally available health care. Remember I am not talking about some futuristic medical breakthrough in genetics or artificial blood. I am speaking about science available here and now. We can all already live to be a healthy hundred.