What you read is what you don’t get


What you read is not what you blog? I get that feeling after reading Cory Doctorow’s comment over on Boing Boing about Bruce Sterling’s Wired column this month

He takes an amazing, science-fictional view of how an internetworked world is likely to upend the creaking, corrupt US health-care ‘system.’

That’s just such a hyperbole and misuse of the word “inter-networked.” Sterling is writing about alternative medicine, medical tourism and diagnostic tools and their impact on a creaky, in-efficent and soon-to-be disrupted US healthcare system. Inter-networked suggested that perhaps we are talking about a broadband induced changes to the medical system, like what is being attempted in Utah. Alternative medicine and medical tourism is not science fiction.



I will agree that alternative medicine and medical tourism is not science fiction, but Sterling extends these concept into Science Fiction:

“Aging boomers flock to longevity spas, which dispense radical rejuvenation procedures in the guise of elder care. The neglected elderly embrace biotech research considered outré by mainstream medicine: gene therapy, stem cell-driven organ regeneration, designer drugs that restrict caloric intake.”

Show me designer drugs that restrict caloric intake, I want some! And I’ll go ahead and get my new liver growing from my stem cell organ farm… These are huge milestones, and much of the Holy Grail of the existing medical field, no way is stem cell organ regeneration going to happen in somebody’s garage; the disruption Sterling sees is actually the natural evoluotion of medicine.

Esme Vos

Medical tourism in India: last year I saw a TV documentary about Europeans going to a very plush hospital in India for medical treatment. This hospital was – I kid you not – outfitted like a five-star hotel. The patients included women getting plastic surgery and liposuction, as well as older people getting hip replacements. Better yet, many of the procedures were paid for by European insurance companies! In fact this hospital had arrangements with various EU insurers. Several patients who were interviewed months after their return to Europe were very happy with the treatment – not only was the medical care excellent, but the hospital was also wonderful, a glaring contrast to the “institutional” care one gets in European hospitals with their ugly interiors, chronic shortages of personnel and long waiting lists for surgery.

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