December 10, 2008
The Decision Tree
Thomas Goetz over at Epidemix is writing a book — and relaunching his blog: The Decision Tree. Here’s the nut of it:
The premise is that we are at a new phase of health and medical care, where more decisions are being made by individuals on their own behalf, rather than by physicians, and that, furthermore, these decisions are being informed by new tools based on statistics, data, and predictions. This is a good thing — it will let us, the general public, live better, happier, and even longer lives. But it will require us to be stewards of our health in ways we may not be prepared for. We will act on the basis of risk factors and predictive scores, rather than on conventional wisdom and doctors recommendations.
In other words: An apple a day reduces your chance of seeing the doctor 84%, based on your genetic profile and other risk factors.
I have been a big fan of Thomas’s blogging and his magazine writing, so I think this is going to be good.
And, is it just me, or is biotech still the revolution-to-come? The decision tree, 23andme, synthetic biology — are we on the cusp of something, or is this stuff, like “real” A.I., always going to be five years away?