paleofuture logo sm.jpg

Welcome to the Paleofuture blog, where we explore past visions of the future. From flying cars and jetpacks to utopias and dystopias.

Health Care in 1994 (1973)

Chapter two of the 1973 book 1994: The World of Tomorrow outlines health care predictions for the future:

From time to time, headlines announce the startling new developments in the field of medicine such as: freezing people after death so that they can be revived one hundred years later; and creating "mechanical" men full of artificial replacements. Since few serious prognosticators believe that any of these "medical wonders" will actually occur in the near future, let's take a look at what we can realistically expect to see in 1994:

- The practice of medicine directed toward the prevention, rather than the treatment, of infectious diseases.
- Health insurance for every American.
- Vaccinations to immunize children against rheumatic fever.
- The control, perhaps the prevention, of hypertension by new drugs and chemicals.
- Intensive coronary care units in all hospitals for the treatment of acutely ill patients. (The American Heart Association estimates that such facilities could save some 50,000 heart patients who now die each year.)
- Detection and removal of blood clots before they produce damage from heart attack or stroke.
- Vaccines to prevent the venereal diseases of gonorrhea and syphilis.
- A vaccine to prevent tooth decay.
- Routine lung and liver transplants.
- More sophisticated drug treatment for epilepsy.
- "Medical cities," resembling sprawling shopping centers, consisting of high-rise hospital buildings surrounded by parking areas and garages.
- Most doctors employed full time at medical center complexes, and more physicians trained as specialists.
- Development of drugs for the successful treatment of some cancers.

The prediction of universal health insurance for Americans is obviously the most politically contentious issue on the list. I wonder what kind of support the idea had in 1973 compared with today.

See also:
1994: The World of Tomorrow (1973)

Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 7, 1993)

That Synthetic Food of the Future (Ogden Standard-Examiner, 1926)