22 February 2022 | Tuesday | Influencers | By Dr. Angelica Kohlmann, Co-founder of Bloom Diagnostics
Dr. Angelica Kohlmann, Co-founder of Bloom Diagnostics
Today, every child knows how to run a computer and its capabilities have developed dramatically. In fact, between traditional PCs, laptops, phones, tablets, and other smart devices, it’s fair to say every home contains several high-powered computers. And new technologies continue to evolve at a high speed. Time and again, people demonstrate a willingness and ability to adopt new technologies into their everyday lives at home and work. There is one area, however, where that is not the case, and that is with our health.
One of the primary ways to improve everyone’s quality of life while relieving pressure on healthcare systems is with prevention, as opposed to cure. The past two years in particular have brought into sharp focus how hospitals and clinics can become quickly overwhelmed. For example, it is estimated that up to 5 billion people worldwide may suffer from iron deficiency. This is a common condition with serious consequences which include a reduced ability to concentrate, along with potential issues with fertility. In patients suffering from a heart condition, iron deficiency can exacerbate the symptoms, further reducing the quality of life and even driving up mortality rates.
How can we reach a point where we are capable of very early detection of these conditions before they become an issue for the patient in question? When people go to a physician, it usually is because they are already experiencing symptoms, meaning that it is already too late to prevent the illness.
With this in mind, there is only one broad solution. Whether it’s a developed or developing country, only when a layperson has seamless access to the tools to assess their own health and test for certain markers, will we be at a point when true prevention is possible. The knock-on effect of this democratisation of healthcare will in turn enact significant relief on healthcare systems, and promote a healthier, more open society. Furthermore, this will only be possible through what we now define as cutting-edge technology, but will eventually become everyday standard. After all, just one computer in the house in 1982 was considered something out of science fiction; now we have one in every room.
Companies such as Bloom Diagnostics are developing this field, whereby they see it as only the beginning of a much more integrated, smarter healthcare system. The importance of robust data science in this area cannot be understated. After all, technology is what has allowed us to live healthier, longer lives. This trend will continue as anonymous data generated from user-driven testing at home will allow for more accurate prediction and prevention, along with the development of better treatments to the advantage of all. I am fully confident that this will be the most successful model in the long run.
Dr. Angelica Kohlmann is Chair and Co-founder of Bloom Diagnostics. To learn more, please visit www.bloomdiagnostics.com.