Wow, big question! I think personalised medicine is a big possibility for the future – using people’s DNA to work out how they’ll respond to treatments so you can pick the most effective ones, and you could even predict what illnesses they might get. This could be incredibly helpful at saving money because you’re a) not wasting money on medicines that won’t work well, and b) hopefully stopping people from becoming ill in the first place. And who knows, with gene editing technology getting better and better, perhaps we’ll be able to go beyond the limitations of our natural DNA someday too…
In terms of machines, I think that they (and other similar bits of technology) are tools – they’re not often good or bad in themselves, but it depends on how they’re used. It’s important to remember this when people are designing machines – designers should make sure they do as much as possible to prevent their inventions from being used for bad purposes, while also trying to make them as useful as possible.
There’s still so much we don’t know! We know a fantastic ton already, and so have quite a lot to work with, but on the other hand there are still so many unanswered questions and mysteries! From my point of view, deep down in living lungs of humans is quite unexplored because it is not easy to access. We want to detect the bacteria there to better diagnose what is making a patient sick. At the moment that’s not straight forward for very sick patients in intensive care units. Instead, patients are given a broad spectrum of antibiotics, and has a lot of problems because this will be more than they actually need! There are lots of other areas of medical science that still have lots of space for progression too!
There’s loads to explore still! From a fibre optics point of view, I think medical science can benefit more and more from optical fibres. My research project is trying to better explore the lungs with optical fibres, and others are also looking at the brain, blood and other organs with optical fibres. It will probably be a ‘behind the scenes’ technology, much like you know there’s electronics in your phone and computer, but you don’t personally see it much.
I don’t think the use of machines is a bad thing. It depends on how you use them.