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Progress and Well-being: Embracing Technological Advancements and Holistic Approaches for a Better Future

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Ayanna Amadi
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Progress and Well-being: Embracing Technological Advancements and Holistic Approaches for a Better Future

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As pointed out by Nick Kristof, the past year has seen significant advancements in improving human well-being, despite the unprecedented challenges. This progress, driven by human ingenuity and commitment, serves as a reminder that we can indeed effect positive change. However, it also emphasizes the need for a proactive approach to addressing global issues. Two critical areas of focus emerge - the need to embrace technological enhancements and the importance of adopting a holistic approach to health.

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Embracing Technological Enhancements

Technological advancements, particularly in artificial intelligence, have changed the landscape of human potential and capabilities. As highlighted in an article from The Hill, there is a pressing need to embrace these enhancements to keep pace with rapid developments. Physical and cognitive enhancements, while posing ethical considerations, also offer potential solutions to global challenges and could even mitigate climate change.

One significant arena where technological progress has been remarkable is healthcare. The New York Post reports five key medical breakthroughs that could revolutionize healthcare. These include AI's application in cardiology and radiology, digital interfaces restoring vision, speech, and mobility, wearable monitors powered by AI, animal organ transplantation, gene editing for sickle cell anemia, and the development of effective vaccines for COVID-19 and RSV. The author emphasizes the importance of addressing patients' concerns in these developments, reminding us that technological advancements must be humane and patient-centric.

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Significant Medical Breakthroughs

ABC News has reported a number of significant medical breakthroughs over the past year. The development of new RSV vaccines for adults over 60, pregnant mothers, and babies under 8 months old is a significant accomplishment. The FDA's approval of the first CRISPR gene-editing technique to treat sickle cell disease, the first over-the-counter birth control pill, and the first fully approved Alzheimer's drug are other major advancements. These medical breakthroughs, among others, have played a significant role in improving human well-being.

Adopting a Holistic Approach to Health

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The One Health approach, as discussed by NCBI, is a holistic philosophy that emphasizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. This approach calls for interdisciplinary thinking and action to address global health issues. The advancement of biomedical and health informatics is integral to this approach. The concept of One Digital Health (ODH) and its framework also shed light on the need to consider organizational and social factors in the design and implementation of digital health technology.

Aligning Well-being with Societal and Economic Decisions

The alignment of subjective well-being with societal and economic decisions is crucial for maximizing well-being. The Effective Altruism Forum discusses why people often fall short of optimizing their happiness and proposes systemic solutions to align individual, societal, and economic decisions with this goal. The Happier Lives Institute focuses on research and philanthropy to influence policy and disseminate findings from well-being literature, despite the challenges of evaluating such organizations.

In conclusion, the advancements in improving human well-being are a testament to the power of human ingenuity and commitment. Embracing technology and adopting a holistic approach to health, coupled with aligning well-being with societal and economic decisions, are key to addressing global issues and driving further progress. The future may hold challenges, but with proactive strategies and an open mind to innovation and change, we can continue to improve human well-being.

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