Book Excerpts

“Although we don’t know precisely when, at some point primate social activities such as mutual grooming and nit-picking transitioned into the beginnings of early human medicine. The first medical tools people used were their senses of sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing. And they weren’t just observant; they acted on their observations.“

“A lot of things are going to change very rapidly in the way we practice medicine over the next few years. As with many other industries, the pace of change is already accelerating rapidly in comparison to previous decades and eras, and the evolutionary pressures are irresistible. We spend ever-increasing amounts of resources on health care with apparently diminishing returns. The watering hole is getting drier. At the same time, the promises inherent in many of the technologies I’ve described in this book will be irresistible – personalized drug treatments, cures for baldness, organ rejuvenation, suspended animation, and perhaps even perpetual youth. “

“We’re now able to look at human DNA, the machine inside the man. And we have more tools than ever before to do something about what we find. We have tamed the atom for radiation-based treatments and molecular machines. We’ve conscripted robots and smart computers in the war on disease. We’ve identified the cellular equivalents of Adam and Eve. And, we’re decoding the human genome.

Today, we are entering an era in which genetic information, stem cells and nanomolecular engineering will transform the world of medicine, providing us with many new dimensions of data and treatment. In this book we’ll explore the evolution of medicine from past to present, showing how we got to where we are, and where we’re headed in the future.”

Critical Acclaim

“A rare glimpse into the future of medicine, through the eyes of a Renaissance thinker with a remarkable grasp of history and modern science, combined with a deep compassion for patients.”

David E. Longnecker, M.D.,
Director at the American Association of Medical Colleges

About the Author

William Hanson M.D. is an anesthesiologist and chief of intensive care at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School as well as an Associated Faculty member of the Computer Science Department at Princeton University, where he has taught a course on computers in medicine...