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'Preventive medicine', 'maintenance medicine' and 'the second age'

The author of the book "The Second Life Cycle", Ya'akov Ben Shaul, says that life will be extended to such an extent that the second age - between adulthood and old age will be very long, for all the consequences of a long active life. In addition, the book is based on futuristic articles that were published, among other things, on the Hidan website

For the visitors of the Hidan site, I do not see any point in exaggerating the possibility that in the future there is a chance that we will be part of a 'mega life', that is, a very long life in terms of time familiar to us. In fact, I started collecting the materials for the 'Second Life Cycle' books right here as a reader.

But, even if we leave for a moment to futurists such as Ray Kurzweil and the possibility of a brain-computer connection or to Aubrey de Gray, the possibility of genetic intervention and the 'actuarial escape velocity', and 'make do' with only basic actuarial, we can say that the life expectancy of a male in Israel in the year 2100 will be an average of 107 years . That is, for those born in 1993, who will turn 15 this year, an average of 92 more years of life and activity are expected. Just like those born in 1923, who survived an unnatural death and are now 85 years old, they were active and not nursing in 2000, when they crossed the average age of death in Israel which was 77 years old at the time.

As a result of the basic facts I have presented, I conclude two main matters: the first is that a new age group is developing and forming, just like that of the children or the elderly from the 'third age' above - the people of the 'second age'. A group that will not only be differentiated but will be numerically the largest. In fact, I predict that the people of the 'second age' will be half of the population of the Western world by the middle of this century.

In addition, the realization that we are headed for a very long life will change axioms in the light of how we have acted so far. For example, in our attitude to career, which will no longer be based on the concept of limited time or our relationship to family and married people, from that date when we assume that it is a contract of over 80 years.

One of the many fields that will change and adapt to the long life will be the structure of the medical world in which the currently accepted division into pediatrics, family medicine and geriatrics will be considered outdated. I predict that the medicine of the future will develop already in the next two decades, so that the 'second age' will be accompanied at the beginning by the 'prevention doctor' and in the ages currently treated by the geriatric doctor, towards the age of three digits, we will find the 'maintenance doctor'.

True, there is nothing new about the branch of 'Preventive Medicine', and it is already being used to prevent diseases - but it is not consolidated under the roof of a single doctor. I assume that soon today's 'mid-life' ages, that is towards their fifties, will turn to such a specialist doctor when they are healthy. Such a doctor will be able to refer the healthy applicant to a sports doctor with an emphasis on nutrition, to alternative medicine or even to a mental health specialist. The main goal of the prevention doctor is clear: to delay the appearance of diseases and improve the quality of life until they appear.

On the other hand, 'maintenance medicine' is a branch that is still in its infancy. These are doctors who will deal with the phenomenon of 'another life cycle' before the date of old age that was accepted until now, close to the traditional retirement age. The 'maintenance medicine' aims to extend life even after old age has already given its signs, meaning that our bodies already have the same deficiencies that require a solution. It will do so with advanced techniques of organ transplantation, with the technological improvements reported here from time to time and with those treatments that futurists amuse themselves with or are considered for the time being as a research ambition, such as backing up our brains in a computer or the 'bionic man'.

Jacob Ben Shaul is the author of the book "The Second Cycle of Life - The New Education for Life and Career Cycles" Author's website

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