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Special Issue: The Future. UCSF Magazine peers into the future of health and medicine.
The health care sector accounts for as much as 10% of the U.S. carbon footprint and 5% globally, according to recent studies. This sobering statistic has an upside: It means that changes in the industry can play a major role in addressing the climate crisis.
With the global population of seniors projected to reach 1.5 billion by 2050, it will be more important than ever to reduce the burden of age-related disease. In the future, science will allow us to intervene in the aging process to make this a reality, according to geriatrician John Newman.
Scientists have documented the influence of information overload on attention, perception, memory, decision-making, and emotional regulation. But the same technologies contributing to the cognition crisis could help solve it, argues neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley.
Artificial intelligence manages our phones and homes, helps us navigate, and advises us what to watch, read, listen to, and buy. Soon it will transform our health, says trauma surgeon and data-science expert Rachel Callcut.
Advances in medicine and public health have dramatically extended the lifespan of hearts, lungs, and other vital organs. But for women, the ovaries remain a stubborn exception. That may soon change, says fertility expert Marcelle Cedars.
With the rise of “direct-to-consumer” DNA tests, investigating your genes is easier than ever. But taking one of these tests may not be right for you, says UCSF professor Kathryn Phillips, PhD, who studies new health care technologies.
UCSF sociologist Howard Pinderhughes, PhD, says insufficient housing, economic opportunity, and educational inequity stand in the way of a healthy San Francisco. Nevertheless, he believes there is room for optimism and the possibility for change.