Sixty-four year-old Clem Bezold, senior futurist at the Institute for Alternative Futures, which is funded by the Kresge Foundation, released a report today that speculates on health care in 2025 -- only 13 years from now.
The report says that while it's likely Medicare and Medicaid will have been trimmed by at least 20 percent, the level of care won't suffer for those of us living in retirement because of advances in health care technology.
"Medicare will be significantly less expensive and the care will be better with a number of advances that slow chronic disease with lifestyle monitoring," Bezold predicts.
He says digital monitoring via cellphones will provide your health care team with constant blood and saliva analyses of your physical condition. It also will steadily monitor the diet, exercise rate, sleep patterns and other health-related lifestyle choices you make. Your digital monitor will remind you frequently about the genetic proclivities you have to get diseases like cancer and diabetes and nag you about making the right choices to delay or avoid the onset of these diseases.
Unless you are really wealthy and can afford expensive boutique care, instead of seeing a doctor, you will deal primarily with nurse practitioners and technicians. You'll also have a very personal digital-coaching relationship with the computer that does all this monitoring, Bezold thinks. The good thing is that the days of sitting in the waiting room are likely to disappear since most contact will be via a computer screen. There even may be a return to home visits by nurses and technicians who will need to resolve technical issues and other problems that can't be fixed from a distance.
Feeling nervous yet? "The privacy issues are significant," Bezold says. "With your genetic fingerprints in your record, you will never be able to be anonymous, so there is a significant need for discrimination and security protections."
If you'd like to read more of this fascinating report and factor it into your retirement planning, you can download the whole thing at AltFutures.com