The day when “the hospital” disappears, with diagnostic and treatment functions decentralizing

Given that the challenges are clear, the benefit of spending time in both the field and your home base is in the ability to meet all sorts of people at the best possible times. As a result, ideas can be generated in large quantities, meetings with great people are frequent, and the level of overall happiness is high.

When you actually spend time in both your home base and the field, you cease to perceive the necessity of settling somewhere permanently. This is because it’s difficult to repeatedly travel between these places and your home.

In the past, I thought that settling down was the way things were supposed to be, too. However, these days, I don’t see the value in it. In the period of about a year since I moved to Singapore, I’ve been all around the world, but it’s been a very comfortable time for me.

When I say things like that, people ask me, “What will you do about your kids’ school, your company, your hospital?” But, to use hospitals as one example, I think they’ll be disappearing steadily in the future.

The problem that hospitals have to begin with is a framework that sees people who are sick gathering around health care providers, such as the doctors and nurses, who themselves are healthy. From the perspective of the patient, traveling a long way to get to a hospital is tough, and it’s also painful to have to wait your turn there for many hours. There’s even the risk of being infected with something while in the hospital.

3D bioprinting technology, which is attracting attention today (concept image) / Photo:PIXTA, UNIPHOTO PRESS

Of course, I can understand the situation on the hospitals’ side, as they want to provide care efficiently at a facility that has the equipment, so that they can treat as many patients as possible. That being said, I think that in the future, it will cease to be necessary to provide health care at a single location.

For example, suppose there’s an office building equipped with beds, diagnostic devices, and monitors. Patients can put on the devices and transmit their own health care data. The causes of problems are probed with the use of artificial intelligence, and if necessary, the patient can speak remotely with a doctor. Prescription drugs are made with 3D printers. If there’s an injury, artificial tissue can be made with a 3D bioprinter, and stuck on the affected area like a bandage.

If this were the case, people could get medical care anywhere in town. If the condition you have isn’t serious, there would be no need to go to the hospital. What’s more, these are things that can be done with technologies that already exist.