The future of medicine

Match the headings with the eight paragraphs in the reading below.

Note: There are two extra headings

a) Robotics to the rescue

b) AI can detect better than a doctor

c) Transforming healthcare

d) Personalised medicine

e) A pill that lets you know you have taken it

f) Helping the immune system to battle cancer

g) Diagnosing depression by phone

h) Regrowing damaged body parts

i) Making hearts healthier

j) Fixing defective genes


1. _______________

Advances in technology, especially the development of artificial intelligence (AI) will radically change medical treatments by blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological. These developments are transforming health and medicine due to the lightning-speed advances in genomics, genetic engineering, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, data science, AI and robotics. 2. ______________ In the future, stem-cell technology might be able to help cartilage and other parts of the body to regrow. That could help vast numbers of people as severe osteoarthritis is expected to affect well over 25% of the adult population by 2030. Regenerative medicine is developing methods to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues. The technology could help repair hearts damaged by heart attack and could mean body tissues or organs for transplant can be grown in laboratories. 3. ____________ Patients on regular medication can find it difficult to remember if they have taken the right dose at the right time. A new pill has been created that contains a tiny sensor that records when it is taken – information transmitted to a patch worn by the patient and then sent on to a smartphone. Patients and doctors can ensure the medication is being taken as needed, an innovation already being used in the treatment of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. 4. ______________ Between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year. Melanoma skin cancers are not easily identifiable by sight and highly trained clinicians may sometimes get it wrong. Now, an AI computer program achieved a 95% detection rate, well above the 87% success rate of human doctors.. Through its ability to sift through large amounts of information, AI can help health professionals with complex decision-making, and point out clinical nuances that they might have missed. 5. ______________ A Californian company says smart phones can diagnose mental health problems by analysing how people tap, scroll and click – behaviour that can predict range of cognitive traits and mood states. As well as spotting depression, AI might be able to help alleviate it. A trial involving Woebot, a chatbot designed according to the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, showed that it was effective in treating the condition. 6. ______________ Immunotherapy is the next big breakthrough in cancer treatment. By stimulating or suppressing an immune response, the therapy uses the body’s own immune system to fight disease. Progress in the understanding of cell biology and cancer have clearly demonstrated the ability of the immune system to eliminate naturally occurring cancer cells through a phenomenon called immunosurveillance. 7. ___________ Treatments that are tailored to consider the genetic and biological make-up, the environment and the lifestyle of each individual – will replace “one size fits all” therapies where the same amounts of the same drugs are prescribed for all patients. This is particularly promising in the treatment of cancers whose genetic makeup vary widely.

8. ____________ Genetic mutations are the cause of more than 10,000 diseases in humans – so techniques to correct faulty genetic information may be a way to tackle conditions previously considered incurable. Gene therapy involves taking a patient’s stem cells, genetically altering them in the laboratory and then putting them back into the body to create healthy blood cells.

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