Wallowa Memorial Hospital CEO Larry Davy shared some innovative advances in the field of medicine when he addressed the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce at its regular monthly meeting last Thursday morning.
"It is an exciting time to be alive," he said.
Within the next five years Davy says improvements in the field of health will be so pronounced that the hospital census will be down markedly. "Very few patients will have to stay overnight," he said, noting that the role of the hospital will begin to focus more heavily on wellness and technology, not on illness.
He anticipates that in the next three to five years that the massive overload of paperwork at the local hospital level will all go away, with nurses and doctors talking electronically into computers to accomplish the same end.
He said that the field of medicine is exploding so fast that anyone wishing to keep up with the latest technology would have to read 30,000 medical journals every month.
What seem to be insurmountable health barriers such as Alzheimers, AIDS, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and even what is considered to be inoperable brain tumors are all within the scope of technology, said Davy. He said that computer chips in the brain do not provide the same vision as most of us have, but can allow a blind person to drive an automobile.
He said that baby boomers born between the years of 1945 and 1963 will have the opportunity to live to be 120 years of age.
Many of the innovative new medicines, said Davy, are yet to come out on the public market because of the cautious nature of the Federal Drug Administration and its approach to approving new medications.
He spoke of a new drug that reportedly has a 90 percent reversal rate within months to Alzheimers disease. He said that only spinal cord technology is preventing the transplant of a human head on to a human body and that that technology will be achieved within the next 10 years. He said that an AIDS vaccine has been proven effective in monkeys and that a new drug can eradicate arthritis.
In one breath Davy said that every person in the conference room at the Wilderness Inn in Enterprise, if they live long enough, will get cancer. Then he predicted that "cancer will likely be eradicated in most of our lifetimes."
He spoke of a new technological breakthrough in California where a person with an inoperable brain tumor can be left alone in a room with an advanced machine, then walk out cured.
He said that the new Cat Scan at Wallowa Memorial Hospital can send images anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. He noted early in his presentation that the new machine has already saved some lives.