Reflection Paper


In the past, aging people have always suffered health wise. For example, their bodies fail to survive surgeries. The paper discusses the chapter “The bold new world of healthy aging” in Paul Irving’s book “How long life is changing the world of health, work, innovation, policy and purpose.” He posits that in future, developments in the diagnosis, medicine, and surgery fields will help the elderly to age healthily. The paper also discusses the articles “How boomers will change healthcare” by American Hospital Association and “State of the art and science: The future of smartphones in healthcare” by Michael Batista and Shiv Gaglani to support the chapter’s position.

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The Bold New World of Healthy Aging

The chapter discusses three trends that have helped transform aging over two decades. The trends are the revolution in data and diagnosis, the new golden age in medicines and vaccines, and a ‘never too old’ movement in surgery. On the first trend, that is, the revolution in data and diagnosis, Irving predicts that the advent of universal DNA decoding will occur in future and by 2020, a person’s genetic code will be analyzed in less than two hours. Newborns will be able to get their DNA profiles in the hospital. Moreover, as doctors will have developed accurate maps of a person’s 25000 genes, they will be able to produce sharper pictures of a person’s overall strengths and vulnerabilities. The genetic code will also help guide medical decision making in selecting the most effective medicines, recommend diets and exercise regimes and predict chances of setbacks from medical conditions like cancer.

Moreover, Irving also posits that in future humans will use smartphone applications that will monitor the many dimensions of people’s health. Thanks to ‘lab on a chip technology’, smartphones will be able to analyze a blood and saliva sample accurately enough to diagnose the origin of a lot of infections and even to test for chronic diseases such as diabetes. Smartphone applications with a lot of diagnostic sensors will also be used to detect often unnoticed dysfunctions that precede a full-grown crisis. For example, people will be informed of conditions such as heart attacks or strokes days before they happen and they will then be able to prevent them from happening.

On the second trend, that is, the new golden age of medicines, Irving predicts that in future, a golden age of medications with a substantially larger set of pharmaceuticals ready for use by physicians will occur. The medicines will be modified to each person’s DNA, RNA, and proteins. They will then be used to treat and prevent diseases. In future, precision medicines will also be designed to treat cancers. The revolution in medicines is also expected to extend to vaccines. Vaccines will be used in the prevention of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Vaccines will prevent not only viral and bacterial infections but also fungal and parasitic infections. Irving also predicts that the next ten years will see the creation of therapeutic vaccines that will be effective against age-related, non-communicable, and chronic diseases.

The third trend is the ‘never too old’ movement in surgery. Normally, the risks of death from severe complications of surgery tend to rise dramatically with age. Surgery is tough on the heart, lungs, and brains of aging people. Irving posits that in future minimally invasive surgical techniques will be developed that will substantially lessen the severe strains the body endures during surgery implying that even senior citizens can be surgery candidates. Irving also believes that within ten years, 3D-printers will be able to print and manufacture replacement hips and knees by replicating new parts from a patient’s own cells. Hip and knee transplants will then become common.

Other Source’s Views on Healthy Aging

The American Hospital Association’s article “How boomers will change healthcare” discusses how boomers will in future comprise the biggest group of patients with chronic diseases. They will, however, profit from medication, innovation in data and diagnosis, and advancements in surgical procedures. The second article “State of the art and science: The future of smartphones in healthcare” by Michael Batista and Shiv Gaglani explores the aspect of the future use of smartphones in healthcare in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases among the aging population.

How Boomers will Change Healthcare

The article supports Irving’s position that the U.S. and the world will in future experience a new golden era of medicines. Asthma-like inhalers are expected to be developed in future to be used for the effective administration of insulin. Smart pill bottles are also to be developed in future that will be used to detect when a patient has missed medication. The article also agrees with Irving’s views on the future of surgery. According to the American Hospital Association, minimally invasive surgery techniques will be developed in future that will lessen the strain of surgery on the elderly. Miniaturized surgical devices and cameras will be created that will allow surgeons to perform surgical procedures using minuscule incisions while advances in imaging will allow surgeons to see through the skin. The surgeries that are less invasive will present patients with fast processes, shorter periods of recovery, and a reduced effect on the lifestyle of the elderly.

State of the Art and Science: The Future of Smart Phones in Healthcare

Batista and Gaglani support Irving’s view that the revolution in data and diagnosis of health conditions will occur in future and will be made possible by the use of smartphones. Humans will in future have more advanced smartphone applications that will monitor various dimensions of their health. The applications will permit data from patients to be routinely documented in tailored profiles that will be conveyed safely to a patient’s house. Moreover, in future, physicians will be able to diagnose the elderly efficiently even before they arrive at the hospital. It is attributed to portable sonographic medical devices connected with smartphones that will be used to diagnose a patient’s condition. These will then be transferred using a smartphone to a hospital to be diagnosed before even the patient arrives.

Final Thoughts

The future of healthy aging for the elderly seems bright. Several medical innovations will be used in data and diagnosis, surgery, and medication for the aging. The topic is important to the people who are aging as it gives them hope of good health in their old age. Thanks to medical innovations, senior citizens will be able to undergo surgery safely, while new vaccines and medication will prevent diseases such Alzheimer’s common during old age. It is also crucial for those aging to know of several devices that will be useful in diagnosing diseases. The diagnosis will help prevent avoidable deaths and assure people of healthy ways of aging.


The three articles agree that the aging population is expected to age healthily in future thanks to medical innovations. For example, advancements in data and diagnosis will see the creation of medical applications used in smartphones to enable the early diagnosis of diseases. Innovations in medicines and vaccines will see the reduction in diseases like Alzheimers while those in surgery will result in senior citizens successfully undergoing surgery. Hopefully, the future will arrive sooner so the old can enjoy healthy aging.

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