The fourth industrial revolution and health - the second biotech age


The fourth industrial revolution and health - the second biotech age

Kris Verburgh

Abstract:

Kris Verburgh will address in this lecture how the fourth industrial will impact medicine and healthcare. Some new paradigm shifts in medicine will be reviewed and what they mean for our health, bodies and brains and longevity. Verburgh coined the concept of the "Second Biotech Age". In the First Biotech Age (17th century – 2016) we discovered how the human body works and how diseases originate. In this First Biotech Age, most diseases are incurable and treatments mainly revolve around symptom-reduction and are simple and imprecise (e.g. drugs, macro-surgery, …). 
 
In the Second Biotech Age (starting from around 2016) we will have tools to actually cure various diseases and will be able to act with much more precision on the body and disease processes. In this Second Biotech Age, many diseases will be curable, life will be rewritten, medicine is precise and personalized. This Second Biotech Age is driven by recent technologies, like CRISPR-cas 9 for fast and accurate genome editing, immunotherapy for much more precise cancer treatments (previous chemotherapy targets all the cells in the body, including the healthy cells), optogenetics (which can target specific regions, organs and nerves in the body), artificial intelligence, etc. 
 
Verburgh will also briefly address the risks, issues, opportunities, and concerns of this Second Biotech Age and its consequences for society as a whole.