It is the year 2030. You have just received the results from your whole genome sequencing test, offered through your public health provider, and discovered that you have a 75% chance of developing a rare form of cancer.
But you are not panicking; your genomic data was automatically uploaded, with your permission, to your electronic health record (EHR), which is fully secured with blockchain technology. Your healthcare practitioner can access the sequencing results, and artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing will analyse these records and support the practitioner in making future clinical decisions.
It could be that you are lucky, and there is already a cancer vaccine on the market that you will get priority for. Alternatively, there are vaccines ready to enter decentralised third-phase clinical trials, so you can enrol quickly.
However, if this is not the case and your vulnerability to developing the disease in the future continues, your healthcare provider will take steps to diagnose a condition early, thereby improving your outlook. Remote patient monitoring technology, such as smartwatches, and smart devices for your home, such as smart toilets, will detect indicators of disease, also known as biomarkers.
If a vaccine is not yet available, and the cancer has begun to grow, personalised medicine will be your best therapeutic solution. With the personalised medicine market reaching $93bn by 2030, there will be a range of treatments available. 3D bioprinted organs, created using your own stem cells, will provide functional organ replacements and remove the risks associated with foreign organ transplants. Cell therapy will stimulate tissue repair and regeneration at the site of the tumour, while gene therapy will allow the introduction of new genes into a cancerous cell resulting in its death or slowing of growth.
Finally, in the event that you require surgery to remove a tumour, you will be well-cared for in your local smart hospital. Expert surgeons, perhaps not even based at the hospital itself, will perform telesurgery—enabled by augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and surgical robotics—improving your expected recovery time and the success of your operation. If you are lucky, you could even be involved in clinical trials involving the use of micro-robots for minimally invasive surgery, particularly in the central nervous system.
It is the year 2030. Advances in technologies over the past decade have better equipped us in the fight against life-threatening diseases like cancer.