Our Modern Lifestyles fuel the Demand for Modern Healthcare facilities??

While all of us know that medical technologies have improved a lot during the recent years, is our technology-driven modern lifestyle increasing the need/demand for healthcare facilities, silently?

I seriously fail to understand the role of technology in ‘improving’ our lives. If you look at it outwardly, then yes, technology is definitely simplifying things and enabling people to do more. The time spent on a particular job has been reduced drastically as technology is being infused into each and every segment these days.

But does that mean all iz well? 

Technology, like everything else, is a double edged sword. Especially in the hands of greedy human beings. If technology reduces the time taken for a particular job, people just want more such jobs accomplished (with less staff)!!

These days, amazingly, we work almost throughout the day, in spite of so much advancements in technology!! It’s a paradox of sorts – we discover tools to simplify/reduce our work, but our (collective) greed wants more and more, which invariably results in us working more, not less.  

Has technology ended up creating more work for us, instead of less work?

Worse, all kinds of technologies that enable remote working (including the Internet) has resulted in us working even from home! Clients/management/associates call us at any point of time and expect us to complete some ‘urgent task’ as they know we are always connected!

If we think that our changing/demanding lifestyles enable us to earn more and hence we can live happily (in whatever little time that is not occupied by work), we are wrong there too. Our cost of living keeps increasing every year and life just becomes more and more expensive! So, 10% increase in our salary for the next year might actually result in us spending 20% more!! Thanks to the technology called credit cards 😐

I feel that our modern lifestyles and modern healthcare facilities are closely inter-related. It is the modern lifestyle that fuels the need for modern (expensive) healthcare. We can afford to consume excessive fast-food/alcohol, etc. today because we know that our healthcare facilities will treat us (in case of ailments) and our insurance will take care of the treatment costs!

Secondly, there is no time. In a nuclear family, typically both partners work and there is not much time for unimportant activities like cooking! Even if we make some time and choose to cook, technology has infused enough chemicals in our food to ensure that even home-cooked food may not be all that healthy. You want organic food? Spend three times more!!

I do admit that when modern technology aids preventive medicinal practices like vaccination or solves complex surgical challenges due to accidents, etc. it is indeed beneficial. But, when technology creates new lifestyles, which results in ailments; and the same technology is used to cure it, what is the point??

Modern day healthcare should take inputs from our traditional lifestyle practices, which emphasized on preventive care, than treatments. While we have organic foods, there is no equivalent organic treatment methods! How about Naturopathy? Why not advance natural healthcare treatment practices, instead of addicting people to drugs/medicines?

But our ‘modern healthcare practitioners’  won’t do all that. Because, such things give less ‘Turnover’ and ‘Revenue’. As long as medicine is treated as business, any improvements in ‘healthcare technologies’ will benefit only a few, and that too the ones who were already affected by faulty lifestyle practices, fueled by modern technologies.

Let us look at the other side – Since doctors and hospital management are earning so much, are they themselves happy? Absolutely not. They too work 24×7 and they are subject to the same ailments that modern lifestyles result in. But they can get treatment in their own hospitals, if that is any respite! To Doctors and Hospital Management: I am writing this article for your benefit, as much as ours!!

Destination Infinity

PS: This article has been written for the indiblogger contest ‘How does modern healthcare touch lives’. To get the pen-drive (participatory prize), I need to link to Cutting Edge (Apollo hospitals page). Of course, I stand no chance of winning anything else 😛

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19 Replies to “Our Modern Lifestyles fuel the Demand for Modern Healthcare facilities??”

  1. This is one way to think about it.Another is to go fully in favor of technology & modern healthcare+lifestyle.Although I am more interested in the logic behind the arguments.

    Technology simplified work never reduced it. It gave us more time to think over & with that time we create more. What it gave was a choice.Not a choice to relax everyday. In the whole human existence we are rarely suited to sit idle or not do anything. We are a constantly working being. If you remove the concept of time -negating the saving/dearth of it – human will still keep on working. Technology made it easier to do so.

    About relations & being always connected – our generation has tasted both the fruits & can choose between them. Let the next one decide what they want more. Now-a-days the apps are coming out to make people able to meet in physical life.That hints about future expectations.

    Present healthcare do seem faulty & profit-driven – but it only made it possible for existence of 7billion humans. At present naturopathy seems better than alopathy – you can’t tell about future. I am sure even if medicine is replaced by naturopathy – Doctors still won’t have time left for them. They still will have diseases & get treated in the same facilities. If naturopathy becomes the trend its rate will skyrocket. Then people will take alopathic drugs because only rich can afford natural products.

    It depends which side you chose to argue from. As for me, I have chosen to observe as for now. 🙂
    PoliteSaint.

    1. “Technology did not give us the choice to relax everyday” – Absolutely. That is my point as well. I am going one step forward and saying that technology just increased our work burden. Think about this – Among people of our grandfather’s generation, father’s generation and our generation, who is spending more time with work related activities?? If you answer that question, you’ll get the point. Technology might have reduced the physical stress in work, but it has been increasing the mental stress (and no. of hours of work), with each generation.

      “Nowadays apps are coming to make people able to meet in physical life” – Until a decade or two earlier, meeting people in real-life was the only option we had. Hence, we did it more. When a choice is given to us, we prefer to become armchair activists and couch potatoes.

      “Technology enabled the existence of 7 billion humans” – If not for the guns, weapons, bombs, crime (all fueled by technology), probably our population would have been more? Then consider the exploitation of natural resources (and hence wiping out whole ecosystems, species and populations) for making some gadgets and beauty items.

      I should agree that the main culprit is human greed in the above context, not technology. But technology in the hands of greedy humans is like AK-47 in the hands of 3th std kids.

      Both Naturopathy and Allopathy might have its respective strengths, but it’s the exploitation of the latter that I am writing about. I don’t have anything against the system itself. Of course, naturopathy in the hands of greedy humans might be three times more costlier than allopathy. It’s perfectly possible.

      Destination Infinity

  2. Well expressed the thought and I too need to agree, as technology improves our health care also needed attention more. Technology makes us lazy and lack of physical activities invites number of health deficiencies.

    1. Lack of physical activities is one of the banes of the modern lifestyle. ‘Couch potato’ is considered fashionable by some people!!

      Destination Infinity

  3. I completely agree with you that we could work on advancing natural healthcare techniques… like going back to our roots (Ayurveda). Don’t know how and why this shift to allopathy happened. Natural medicines are the safest. In fact I make it a point to rely on such medicines as far as possible whenever required. I know my body faces the least harm becoz of it as opposed to antibiotics etc.

    1. Earlier we used to give our milk from the local doodhwala so we knew that the milk was relatively pure (except for the addition of water at the most). These days people rely on milk packets (Milma, Mother Dairy) or tetra packs (Nestle, Amul) and this is commercially produced by injecting hormones into cows who lactate and produce milk (not to mention how much adulteration must take place). This is one of the main reasons why much more people suffer from thyroid problems (hormonal imbalances) these days.

      Like you said, it can be no longer said that just becoz food is homecooked, it will be good. Ok maybe lesser of the two evils, as compared to hotel food, since we atleast know what ingredients we use and the kind of oil we consume.

    2. I still feel that allopathy has certain advantages in certain situations, as mentioned in the article. But for everything else, we should rely on natural medicines. I feel it’s our responsibility to understand our traditional medicine practices and make sure that they don’t become extinct. We need to at least document them or publicize the works of people who have been documenting them.

      I am also quite impressed by Naturopathy treatment methods. If you have time, read the book written by Mr. H K Bakhru. I wonder why western medicine doesn’t borrow and develop such natural/organic medicinal practices??

      Destination Infinity

  4. Hmmm…I am sitting in front of the laptop a lot nowadays, I feel. I might put on weight. Otherwise, I keep on doing/moving here and there in the house, go out often etc.! I don’t feel bored to sit here, nowadays! And I seem to read a lot and forget within minutes! Are they of any use?!!!

    I am kidding! There is always the other side for all new discoveries! We have to use them rightly!

    1. “We have to use them rightly” – That we refers to 7 billion people and there is no way to ensure that technology is used in the right way. For once, let us admit that we are greedy and many of us (including the ones who are in responsible positions) do not have the maturity to differentiate between the correct usage and the wrong usage of technology.

      The very idea that technology can solve all our problems magically is extremely flawed.

      Destination Infinity

    1. They catch up with a lot of money and death catches up with them! Some people tend to believe that our medical system might sometime discover immortality!! LOL 😛

      Destination Infinity

  5. well i believe everything that’s within limits is always good else .. everything has its own side effects …

    so technology is good as well as bad .. like a 2 side coin .. its you who should know how to make good use of it….

    hey Rajesh Sir .. am sorry i got to read previous posts as well .. sorry for being too late to reply … but will cover up the pending work soon 😛

    1. C’mon, just read posts whenever you get time. I agree that technology is a two-sided coin. The problem is, the same technology that is available with our army is also available with terrorists. Actually, both are dangerous!

      Destination Infinity

  6. In my view, with advancement in every-technology and its availability it contributes for time passing by extremely fast. Few years ago, pre-mobile days when one needed to engage with someone they need to plan, arrange time and make the effort but today we can engage with 100’s of people instantly but yet fail to make our time more productive. Shouldn’t we therefore have more time, more enthusiasm to go forward and make the environment more pleasant?

    It’s also arguable that technology is also fuelled by our habits, and thus in return our habits dictate how our technology should grow. We had iPhone which worked perfectly fine, then why did we need a subsequent model? It was the demand for the iPhone which in returned fuelled an economy to produce another model, which was slightly better but nonetheless did the exact same thing.

    As for the healthcare and technology used to treat people, this is getting more and more sophisticated. It also means it getting more and more confusing.

    1. Technology is also used to dictate our habits. The mobile phone addiction, gadget addiction, etc. happens because large corporations decide so and use brilliant marketing campaigns to dictate to us on what we should like, etc.

      Healthcare is getting not only more and more sophisticated and confusing, but also more and more expensive.

      Destination Infinity

  7. Lack of physical activities is the root cause for most of the ailments. We sit in front of the computer whole day.. we are drained out mentally but physically we do nothing. Technology is definitely helping us but yeah like you said there are some disadvantages too.

    1. What the medical practitioners don’t do is, advise us on the right preventive care methodologies. It’s their responsibility to find out what is causing an ailment and suggest to us how not to get it again. For example, if doctors know that our sedentary lifestyle is an issue, why don’t they suggest some excercises like walking, cycling, etc? Does the responsibility of a doctor end with prescribing medicines?

      Destination Infinity

  8. That’s true. Modern technology is a double edged sword.
    That said, I think it is in our human nature to keep discovering, and keep advancing technologically. I see this in principle a very good thing for the human race. On the ground however there are issues which you have pointed out.

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