Louisville Medicine Volume 69, Issue 8 - Page 21

are woefully behind , unsophisticated and generally inadequate , clearly not up to the job of reigning in these behemoths . He rightly notes , “ Laws written by the light of coal power don ’ t work against digital monopolies .” He sees these tech companies continuing to breach our privacy and use us as commodities . “ Freedom of speech shouldn ’ t mean freedom of reach !”
Relative to our field of health care , the author foresees Big Tech consuming the health care world . He sees the biggest “ apex predator ” to be Amazon . Amazon has already developed “ Prime Health .” It envisions a day when your child has a rash , so you log on to your Prime Health account , which finds you a local dermatologist who sees you via telehealth on Amazon . This person diagnoses the rash and e-prescribes a cream that is delivered by Amazon fulfillment within the hour .
Lab kits , genetic testing swabs , Cologuards : all will be delivered to your door . There won ’ t be any need to call for appointment , park , wait to be seen , then stand in line at the pharmacy . Who wouldn ’ t sign up to access such convenient in-home services ? Worrisome is that part of the onboarding for Prime Health may be screening and genetic tests that are placed in the Amazon database – then here come products you might need based on your genetics ! And just who will have access to that information ?
Galloway then moves on to his other field “ ripe for disruption ,” that of higher education . College tuition has increased 1,400 % over the past 40 years . The CPI ( Consumer Price Index ) has only increased 294 % over the same 40-year time frame . Most of this outrageous price inflation was enabled by the “ heroine ” of federally subsidized student loans and grants – a total of $ 1.6 trillion now owed by Americans . Student loan debt averages $ 30,000 per virtual graduation . Galloway is a long-time educator and believes that higher education must reform post-corona . He foresees a growing micro-generation of distance learners that will catalyze the question – is the on-campus experience worth the high price and debt ?
Another thought-provoking idea is that gap years , ( between high school graduation and first year of college ) should be the norm . It is an ugly secret that a mix of helicopter parenting and social media has rendered many 18-year-olds unfit for college . One study found that 90 % of those students that defer and take a gap year and return to college after have better grades and higher rates of graduation .
Galloway ’ s last chapter focused on the status and future of the Commonwealth . Our republic clearly has degraded . Our muscles of collective sacrifice have atrophied for decades so as to become downright feeble . Our Commonwealth did not just happen – it was shaped . It isn ’ t what is , it is what we make it . And so comes the summation of the author ’ s view of the Post Corona America : The good news is that defeating the pandemic and moving from crisis to opportunity requires a reawakening of our national character . At its best , America exemplifies generosity , grit , innovation and willingness to sacrifice for one another and future generations . When we lose sight of these principles , we wander into exploitation and crisis . It is up to all of us to see beyond the crisis and shape our Commonwealth to what the future requires - not what we nostalgically wish for .
Conclusion : Post Corona is an easy read with challenging thoughts and ideas . The section on evolving health care disruptive technologies will be of particular interest to physicians old and young . Galloway is an interesting character and has an uncanny knack for seeing what the future holds based on what Americans like . If you have children or grandchildren and don ’ t understand their desires and behaviors , I would definitely give this book a read . It will open your eyes to how mass media and interactive technologies will consume their attention and alter their behaviors forever !
Dr . Wernert , MHA , is the Executive Medical Director of Norton Medical Group and practices with Norton Behavioral Medicine .
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