Thanks to the latest advances in technology, we have wearable devices that can track our sleep patterns, heart rate and footsteps. At the end of 2018, Apple launched a watch with sensors that can detect atrial fibrillation or heart failure and send a message to emergency services if there has been a fall and the wearer not move for a minute thereafter. This is a big step forward and wearable technologies have greatly encouraged more physical activity and a healthier lifestyle.
Medicine is also becoming more personalised. Through DNA testing and gene sequencing, we can identify specific inherited risks and conditions to which we are predisposed. Precision medicine allows doctors to select treatment based on an individual’s specific genetic make-up. Nutritional supplementation can be specifically formulated based on your particular deficiencies. Through 3D bio printing we are able create synthetic blood vessels and organs instead of using human donors.
All these exciting advances are in the name of progress, encouraging a more active lifestyle, increasing our longevity and even cheating death.
At the same time, we are at risk of becoming dependent on wearables as we outsource the feedback that we receive from our bodies in more subtle and powerful ways. No device or medical test can outsmart the sophistication and intelligence of the body-mind-spirit complex itself. Disconnecting from this source of intelligence comes at a severe cost that is becoming evident in the rising levels of anxiety, depression and burnout.
There is no lab test that is as sensitive as our inner radar and no medicine that is sophisticated as that which is manufactured in our inner pharmacy. When we can match the advances in technology with deep sensitivity, self-awareness and respect for the mysterious miracle of us, that is progress. Anything else is simply arrogance.