Nick’s Note: Regular readers know Jeff Brown as a Silicon Valley insider with nearly 30 years of experience in the high-technology space. So when he uncovers a new tech investing trend, we share his insights.
And today, Jeff shows how one medical trend will not only rewrite healthcare as we know it… it’ll also allow people to live well past 100 years—and even save the lives of the NFL’s high-profile stars…
By Jeff Brown, editor, Exponential Tech Investor
Nine minutes into the second quarter, the Houston Texans’ quarterback Tom Savage was pounded into the ground by a San Francisco 49er.
As Savage rolled onto his back, he appeared to seize up and convulse. His hands began trembling and one of his legs was suspended in the air—telltale signs of a concussion.
Yet minutes later, Savage was right back in the game.
However, after two incomplete passes from Savage on the next drive, possession changed to the 49ers. There was further discussion about Savage’s condition. He tried to stay in the game… But fortunately, he was sent to the locker room for further evaluation.
That decision very likely saved his life.
Receiving a second impact to the head after receiving a concussion can be far more severe. It can even result in death. This is why understanding whether or not there’s been a concussion is so important.
But the NFL’s concussion protocol is far from conclusive. There is no definitive way to tell whether or not a player has a concussion. And that’s led to some serious long-term health problems for these players.
You may have seen headlines in recent years of high-profile football players dying from complications resulting from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a neurological disorder that results from repeated head injuries. It leads to behavior problems, dementia, and eventually death.
A recent study found a strong link between professional football players and CTE. The results were conclusive. The brains of 111 recently deceased NFL players were analyzed. CTE was found in all but one of them… That’s 99%.
As a former all-state football player in high school—and the father of a third-grader in his first year of tackle football—this worries me.
CTE can only be diagnosed after death, and the symptoms typically begin years after the injuries have occurred. So we can’t see the larger problem caused by these concussions until long after someone has already experienced the original trauma.
But there’s a new technology allowing doctors to identify conditions like CTE years before symptoms are even present.
And this isn’t just good news for football players. The technology I’ll show you shortly could add decades to your life—and let you enjoy those extra years with the health and strength you had in your 30s and 40s…
Our inability to precisely measure the present state of the human condition is a major weakness of the medical system. Even today, physicians react to symptoms they see, rather than proactively identifying early indications of disease or unhealthy imbalances in a patient’s physiology.
The scale of this problem is hard to overestimate. According to a British study, 10,000 people die of cancer each year in Britain because they’re diagnosed too late. And that’s just cancer. The trends are similar for conditions like HIV, Parkinson’s, and strokes.
But thanks to one rapidly developing medical trend, that’s changing.
I’m referring to personalized, or predictive, medicine.
Essentially, researchers have found a way to use “immunoassays” to diagnose patients. (An immunoassay is a test used to measure the concentration of a molecule in a solution—for example, a drop of blood or saliva.)
In recent years, scientists and doctors have started using complex machines to run immunoassays and identify “biomarkers.” These biomarkers provide early indications of diseases like cancer and HIV, or conditions like a concussion or inflammation.
The process of using these machines for diagnoses is like testing a patient’s blood for cholesterol levels. In other words, this technology takes something as complex as identifying early signs of life-threatening diseases—and makes it as simple as a common blood test.
But this is where it gets interesting…
On average, the technology being used is 1,000 times more sensitive than the diagnostic tools being used today. That means doctors will be able to diagnose a disease in its earliest stages, sometimes years before the symptoms are present.
And here’s the best part: This technology won’t just be reserved for the ultra-wealthy…
An Industry Disruption
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 75% of the nation’s healthcare spending goes to treating chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
But all of these diseases can be treated much more effectively, and at a much lower cost, when detected early.
The cost savings of personalized medicine will mean that insurance companies will begin covering these immunoassay screenings. After all, they know that detecting a disease early means they’ll spend less on healthcare down the road.
And we’re already seeing this happen in a similar diagnostic technology: genetic sequencing. The cost to sequence—or blueprint—your genome (entire genetic makeup) is falling rapidly. From $10 million in 2008, the cost has dropped to about $1,000 as recently as 2016. Soon, it’ll cost just $100…
Overall, this progression is far faster than that of Moore’s Law, which accurately predicted that the processing power of microprocessors (semiconductors) would roughly double every two years.
Now, unless you’ve been working in the technology sector for a few decades, it might be hard to grasp the significance of this. But I’ve worked as a high-technology executive for 25 years. So take my word for it: Nothing in the world of technology to date has developed this quickly.
In fact, as of November 1, 2017, UnitedHealthcare began covering “whole exome sequencing for patients where clinical presentation is non-specific and does not fit a well-defined syndrome.”
In other words, if a physician knows something is wrong with a patient, but can’t figure out what it is, UnitedHealthcare will pay to have the patient’s whole exome sequenced.
And the same thing will happen with these ultra-sensitive diagnostic tools. Your insurance company will happily pay for them if it means earlier detection and treatment.
So what will the effects of this new technology be?
Well, treatments will shift from a reactive, symptom-driven model to a proactive, predictive one.
Patients will no longer experience symptoms, go to the hospital feeling sick, and have a doctor treat them based on those symptoms.
Instead, they’ll have their extensive medical histories—and outlooks—determined by predictive diagnosis.
The onset of diseases will be determined at the earliest stages, when the symptoms are not even felt at all by the patient. And therapies will be applied quickly before their conditions worsen. This is when diseases are easiest to treat.
That means we’ll live longer—with less disease and pain. We’ll also spend much less time in hospitals than we do today. And it’s very likely that we’ll live well into our hundreds thanks to this technology—and even have a high quality of life as we do so.
Life is going to get much better. And this shift is happening right now. This is exactly the kind of inflection point that leads to exponential gains, and precisely what I look for in my research.
Predictive medicine has long been the ultimate goal for doctors and hospitals—being able to “see” something wrong before the symptoms present, and then take action to address that condition before it ever becomes an issue.
Now, it’s fast becoming a reality.
Editor, Exponential Tech Investor
P.S. There’s one more tech investing trend I want to put on your radar. It’s something that’ll create $12 trillion in wealth and even make early investors a small fortune. It’ll become the “backbone” of futuristic technology like self-driving cars and augmented reality. And I’ve found the perfect way to play it…
You see, a small company in North Carolina is developing a component which will help this tech go mainstream. And through my analysis, I believe this small-cap stock’s share price could climb 10 times in the years ahead. You can see it for yourself right here.
In 2012, Palm Beach Trader editor Jason Bodner—PBRG’s very own Wall Street insider—helped create the fastest high-speed trading system in history…
Since then, he’s designed a new breakthrough trading system that takes things one step further—by pinpointing the fastest-growing stocks up to 30 days in advance.
And he recently held an exclusive event to not only reveal how his system works—but also to show how you can follow Wall Street’s big money to profits. But don’t worry if you missed it. For a limited time, he’s sharing a replay of his special presentation right here…