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The Patient Will See You Now:
The Future of Medicine Is In Your Hands
Marshall McLuhan said practically everything in modern life is a consequence of the invention of the printing press. First it was the blueprint for all the mechanization that was to follow - uniform, repeatable commodities and mass production. And second, it lead to widespread literacy, which is the foundation of modern knowledge.
This was a revolution because it changed the relationship between men and information/ideas. No longer were the literate minority the gatekeepers. The flow of information irrevocably changed, with immense consequences for religion, industry and politics.
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Today Smartphone creating a similar boundary. Potential to put all your personal health data - past (your records), present (monitoring your stats) and future (predictive diagnostics) - to your screen
Ten years ago, there were guidelines for using statins to reduce LDL cholesterol. (They were 70mg if had history of heart problems; 100mg if not). But in 2013 abandoned these - there was never any scientific reason for the levels.
Substituted risk assessment, based on age, smoking, diabetes, blood pressure. Problem was, for any white male over 62 'qualified', no matter what the other risks were.
But problems with statins. First, reducing LDL only rarely (2% of the time) reduces bad outcomes like heart attacks. Second, statins commonly increase muscle inflammation, and slightly increase the risk of diabetes. Third it costs a lot - $38 billion in US in 2010 - without any actual disease or symptoms.
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