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Can We Predict Death?

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In a world where scientific and technological advancement is the way every nation aspires to develop in, an astounding number of scientific discoveries and inventions have all dramatically changed the world we live in. From the early wheel and the fire, to the printing press and the television, finally leading to advanced bio and nanotechnology; humanity has definitely progressed a lot in the field of science. We have been successful in enlarging our understanding of this universe to an extent never known before. Yet one outrageously common thing still spoils this extraordinary height of understanding, and manages to directly impact a little more than 150000 people, while subsequently countless others.

This phenomenon is well, death. Death is the inevitable, dreaded end every human on this planet is destined to face, some later or maybe at this very moment. It’s one of the defining traits of how we live, of nature itself, and still we are unable to comprehend the exact nature of it, as this topic often gets lost in the heated debate between the scientific and the religious. We succumb without having any knowledge as of when and where it is going to happen. Predicting one’s death, till now, has been done by fortune-tellers, where the absence of scientific logic puts a lot of doubt on their predictions. So is it really possible to determine one’s death using scientific, reliable methods?

It depends on various factors. There has been development of methods for predicting death in the short term. Artificial Intelligence is being used to predict deaths of seriously-ill patients between 3-12 months, to a remarkable accuracy of 90%. This has immensely helped in the effective care of these patients as they are then treated according to their preferences if their death is near, acting as somewhat “a dying person’s last wish”. This has also helped hospitals grant palliative care first to the people who need it more, and shelter them from an agonizing death. A firm by the name Excel Medical has launched the first FDA-cleared patient surveillance system. The WAVE Clinical Platform is the first of its kind cleared for marketing. It is an always-on remote monitoring platform that displays near real-time clinical views of physiologic and medically relevant data including waveforms and alarms for at-risk patients across hospital workstations, mobile devices and inside electronic medical records. This app performs an integrated analysis of the person’s detailed medical history, physiology, family history, medications, and age, among other factors. This helps it to calculate the risk of the person suffering any kind of medical problem, and thus, gives a warning up to six hours before it actually strikes the person. This will thus, predict future deaths due to fatal issues such as heart attacks and cardiac arrests, and thus, significantly reduce the number of unexpected deaths in hospitals.

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