What Will Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Medicine Look Like in 2075?

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, February 24, 2016

By Steven H. Dayan, MD, FACS “WAS THERE REALLY A TIME WHEN KIDS COULD DIE FROM STREP THROAT?” This was a question posed to me from my 12-year-old daughter while we were at the International Museum of Surgical Sciences, viewing an exhibit on the discovery of antibiotics. She seemed astonished to learn that there was a time when antibiotics didn’t exist. Even as a physician, I, too, had to take a moment to appreciate the impact antibiotics have had on medicine and humanity. I then thought to myself, “25 years from now will my daughter’s children be asking her if there was a time when people died from cancer?” My grandmother, who was born in 1897, could have never imagined radio, telephones, automobiles, airplanes, and answering machines (which she could never figure out). I always thought if someone were to tell her that one day she could pick up a hand piece, speak into it, and have a real time conversation with another person half way around the world, she would have never understood, let alone accept the possibility of getting into a 500-ton metal object and flying through the air over an ocean and in less than 12 hours be visiting family members who live 5,000 miles away. My mom in her lifetime has witnessed the advent of air conditioning, TV, and remote controls. I have already seen the invention and advancement of cell phones, computers, and the Internet. And with technology doubling every 18 months, what will the future hold for us, our children, and our profession? Recently, I have had the opportunity to consider our future. I have been invited to participate in a think tank sponsored by a division of Nestle that is contemplating and committing to establishing the future of innovating and educating both doctors and consumers on dermatologic and aesthetic skin health. The Project is called SHIELD, which stands for Skin Health Investigation Education Longevity Development. They have earmarked funds to open multiple SHIELD centers across the continents. The first one is set to open soon in New York. These futuristic think pods are certain to be an idealized cross between an Apple Store and an outer space laboratory. Like nodes they will be linked electronically and virtually so that, in real time, free flowing ideas and resources can incubate. The SHIELD pods will be open to anyone with a brilliant idea on skin health who lacks access to universities or research centers, or for those who want to bypass the hierarchies and hurdles that may exist in such institutions. Groups of individuals from all aspects of life and all fields of arts, humanities and science will have a chance to meet and interact with each other and brainstorm the future. Great ideas whether conceived in isolation or within the multidiscipline groups will be eligible for funding or triage to the most appropriate outlet. For the creative innovator with the next big idea and no place to go with it, the SHIELD centers will serve as an inviting community to cultivate and grow an idea. The premise is bold and exciting and up until now, nothing like it has existed. To just think what medical education and our field will look 60 years from now is awe inspiring. Read more at Modern Aesthetics.