We're as skeptical as ever when it comes to new medical treatments

We're as skeptical as ever when it comes to the latest and greatest medical treatment 

Bottom Line: On one hand it's unquestionable that advances in medical technology and treatments have made incredible strides in extending our lives and often making them better throughout life as well. Here's a quick breakout of US life expectancy by age. 

  • 1900: 47 

  • 1920: 54 

  • 1940: 63 

  • 1960: 69 

  • 1980: 73 

  • 2000: 77 

  • 2018: 79 est. 

That's an incredible increase. In just 100 years the average American is living 25 years, or 46%, longer – largely as a result in medical advancements. But you'll notice that while we experienced rapid growth over the first 80 years of last century – there's been a significant slowing down in recent years. In fact, some studies are suggesting that life expectancy has stalled since 2014. Add in the cost of advanced medical treatments and you have the stage set for these findings from the Pew Research Center: 

  • 51% of Americans now say that newer medical treatments cause as many problems as they solve  

  • Just 48% say that advanced medical treatments are worth the cost 

The high cost of healthcare combined with mixed results have led to most Americans having become cold to the notion of seeking them. This might actually prove to be helpful in a couple of respects. First, it could provide a catalyst towards more consumer price transparency in healthcare which is desperately needed for us to become effective consumers of healthcare and control costs, and it could cause those involved in the development of medical treatment and drugs to put added emphasis on provable outcomes over simply having the "latest and greatest" treatment available. We may be in the mist of quite literally producing a healthy degree of skepticism 

 

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