Friday, February 3, 2012

Half the economy on Health Care by 2050

The next paradigms of medical technology will start going after the aging process. An interesting statistic that I read is if we cured every disease, so no one died of heart attacks, cancer, kidney failure.. etc.. we would only add 12 years to the average life expectancy. From 80 to 92. See the diminishing returns?

When you are 85 years old, even if you take something to cure your Alzheimers.. realistically something else is going to get you shortly. The whole organism if failing at that point.

And not just slowing down the aging process, but actual reversal of aging damage. The opportunity is limitless from the perspective of 2012. I believe the USA is ahead of the rest of the world as usual, and now spending near on 20% of their economy on health care. I expect it to be 50% by mid century.

The biological body is of such astonishing complexity that we are talking millions of man years of research that is needed to go and figure out how to reverse this aging damage.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Big Pharma and diminishing returns

I've been saying for quite a few years now there is just no good drugs left to find. All the juicy oranges in the orchard have been picked already.

Big Pharma gave it a Herculean effort during the last decade.. in the face of finding fewer and fewer promising drug, they ramped research spending up to staggering amounts. However not many drugs were found.

Now Big Pharma had to admit the truth to themselves, and the completely logical thing to do is shut down most of their research. The big pharma companies will become distributors of generic drugs. Well the surviving companies which are left after they buy up the other companies. And generic drugs is a great and profitable business.

This is about the fifth paradigm of health technology that has been explored and then faced diminishing returns. Vaccines was an earlier one.. once they got vaccines for the big 5 killers of mankind, that accounted for about 99% of the deaths from contagious diseases.. there was not anywhere else to go. They have managed to make an industry out of chasing that last 1%.. but again diminishing returns.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

If computing was like housing, thought experiment

Probably 50 million Brits own a computer.  I could set up a shop selling computers and software to any person I wanted.  Anyone is allowed to use a computer.

But imagine the 'capitalists' wanted to do to computing what they did to housing.  The government would restrict sales of computers, say to 1 million a year, instead of 10 million currently.  And only a few politically connected companies would have the rights to sell them.

Instead of 50 million Brits owning a computer, only 10 million would be allowed.  You would have to purchase a license in order to own a computer.  Only the richest people could afford to, by outbidding the other people.  The winners would be the people who had the licenses.  Which would be determined randomly at birth to start.

But then 'investors' would be allowed to purchase the licenses.  And lease them out to people who wanted to the highest bidders who wanted or needed to use a computer.  They then would make a profit when the value of the license 'appreciated'.  And of course to buy a license you would surely need to take out a bank loan.  Then through the leases you could make the monthly payment on your loan.  The banker would be a happier man.

Needless to say it would be sick to restrict computing in this way.  But that is exactly what Britain does with a basic human need.. shelter.  Actually Britain does this in most areas of life.  Computing is the exception that is useful in showing how idiotic this way of setting up your economy is.  (and why Britain has no hope in hell of competing in a global economy, when we have so many parasites sucking us down every step of the way).