The future of medicine

ABC News’ Linsey Davis examines the future of medicine, from how we visit the doctor to what’s ahead on vaccine development, and speaks with the University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel.
7:47 | 05/18/21

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Transcript for The future of medicine
It may be an understatement to say that we've all lived through a year that we will certainly never forget for the pandemic has not just changed our lives in this past calendar year it will also have profound implications on our future from where we work to how we interactive how leaving go to school this week we want to take a look at what's in store for us in the future and to that end we speak to leaders in various fields about what they see on the horizon. Tonight we begin with the future of medicine from vaccines to doctor visits what does all mean for the world of medicine in the long run. Nasal swabs PCR rapid testing. Isn't just some of the words that became part of our vocabulary during the pandemic. We masked we social distance we isolated. Wasn't enough Kobe took devastating tolls across the country in New York we saw a freezer trucks outside of hospitals as the death toll mounted. This reality slaps you right in the face. 437. Deaths yesterday. Health care system overwhelmed stretched thin but in the end the intact. Nordegren mist of milestones nearly 600000. American lives lost to the disease. The pandemic forced us to adapt and medicine was of course part of that change yeah this is doctor decided dermatologist how are you with in person visits to risking at the height of the pandemic. Many doctors on the switched over to telemedicine. Perhaps most importantly the shots during lifesaving FDA authorized vaccines have allowed us to gain back some semblance of normalcy. Both finds during the Daryn and using revolutionary technology to create protection. Household names we hear now just about every day it's thanks to science and medicine and were now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That had us thinking what other medical leaves lie ahead we took that question and others directly to doctor Ezekiel Emanuel of the University of Pennsylvania. Doctor we are obviously living through a once in a century pandemic. Should expect that they're gonna start coming fast and furious or is the next pandemic likely a hundred years a wet it's. Probably not a hundred years away and it's probably not pass in theory yes in that. Next year we're gonna have another pandemic but we should they anticipate. More pandemic are we ready for the next pandemic. Absolutely not gonna learn lessons from this pandemic. Islands spread one of the things I've done is I've study. How. Ten other countries responded. Opt for an update of my book which. Our country as the world's best health care and one of the thinks cut a major conclusions that I draw is that countries with experienced. Countries that really took the lessons. Actually had a better response because they were winging get. You've said that we're not prepared for the next pandemic. What is the government a what is the private sector need to do today what's the priority that they need to do to get prepared. Well that is a long list actually. But on the health care side it's clear that CDC did not do a great happy we didn't do a great job on the testing we didn't do a great job on the maps. When you look into the future is Kobe nineteen something that we're gonna ultimately eradicate much like we have with polio ours is something that will be. Summing it we're dealing with. We like the seasonal flu. I think it's gonna turn out to be more like seasonal flu there when. We area and the key number I think for the audience vote look at is the number of that. When we get the mortality rates from cove it. Down to about hundred to a heart should be ad day. In other words somewhere between 36000. Out and about 54000. Deaths a year. That it'll be in the flu range. People are gonna go. Into their routine lie. When we get that while I do think one thing we have learned from this. Pandemic and I hope it sticks is that wearing masks in the winter when war. In close proximity to people. Actually can make a big difference in terms office. Read a lot of people are really familiar with an MR NA technology even though was something that really kind of started in the ninety's when youth. Talk about that kind of technology give us a sense of what it could mean ultimately in the future as far as. Other vaccines or therapies with regard to to cancer HIV. You are going to see. Companies and researchers. Proliferate. Vaccines for adults against the number of diseases using the MR and eight at so I think what we can anticipate. Over the next few years and decade is a number of new vaccines against infectious diseases at adults experience. Are based upon the MR Nate. Platform and I think that's going to be a really. Good thing. Act as you know it increasingly certainly over your in my life. We have seen a number of vaccines for adults not for kids and these vaccines you know they make a huge difference to people's lives. I sort of follow on that because you made a distinction between adults and children's vaccines and you know certainly there are many parents are going to be grappling with the idea and in a few months perhaps of weight they should give their young children as young as 567 years old. This vaccine knowing that there isn't as much. Me EEE history is what would you advise those parents. We also don't really understand the long term impact. And children even if they don't becomes symptomatic or don't have a high risk of dying there may be long term consequences in terms of cognitive function or lung function that we haven't yet. Determine. I would give my grandchildren. This vaccine just because I think it's it's that lower risk. And the benefits not. Experiencing. Corona virus and not running the risk of something bad happening long term is probably. A benefit. Most excited about when it comes an MR NA technology. How fast you can make XE. I mean I think every one. Is. You know start electing Tony frog to use the phrase. Many taxable land speed record and this really has amazing. Real lessons that we've learned it from the pandemic it is in particular when it comes to the difference between rural and urban and health care. We have to use more I telemedicine. And digital Madison told link up those rural sites with. Urban centers where there are a lot of special less. And experts that can attend took particular needs and an urban areas one of the things we've learned is. We can deliver care to people who are staying at home really effectively and so we don't have to bring them into a hospital or into physician offices. Telemedicine and remote monitoring. War really well. I think we're gonna have to recheck our payment system so that doctors still use them -- get paid to deliver Kara. But you think more people are gonna start. Zooming in to see their doctors and trudging all the way to the office. Yeah. I had suggested that three years ago people what does that are you kidding me Kobe force that and I think a lot of people prefer it. You know you'd rather be in your house where you know everything its familiar. To get your chemotherapy than to be enough. Large institutional setting. And that you know you don't control the environment. Thank you so much for joining us doctor Ezekiel Emanuel.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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