Dr. Gerd Wirtz – Digitization of Medicine from a Human Perspective

13. September 2021 – Mandy Weinand

Dr. Gerd Wirtz is a medical presenter, keynote speaker and expert on digital medicine. In his column, he addresses the facets of the healthcare cosmos in an entertaining way. Sometimes it’s the big questions that are vividly explained, but curious encounters and little stories also find their place in CONNECTED – die digital-kolumne. Like this one, for example, about Rehtee Begum from India, who claims to be 124 years old.

Dr. Gerd Wirtz – Why Rehtee Begum is still an exception

The vaccination workers were amazed when they met Rehtee Begum in June 2021 in the small village of Wagoora in India. Asked her age, she claimed to be 124 years old. An exception, because health literacy does not play a major role for most people. Digitization can help remedy this situation.

Is it a freak of nature to reach the age of 120? Not at all, because a study published this year shows that our physiological life expectancy is actually 120 – 150 years. So there is still a considerable gap between our average life expectancy of 70 years worldwide or 79 years in Germany and these 120 years, and the bad news is that we are largely to blame for this ourselves. After all, 50% of all chronic diseases that significantly shorten our lives are due to our behavior.

Tobacco use, alcohol consumption, poor diet and lack of exercise are the biggest villains. During a visit to the doctor, the risk is discovered and we receive well-meaning advice from the doctor. The first few days after the doctor’s visit, one is quite motivated and tries to integrate a few healthy behaviors into everyday life. But the longer the doctor’s visit lasts, the more the motivation decreases. We feel healthy even without these measures – until fate takes its course.

What does this actually have to do with digitization? Read the entire column by Gerd Wirtz. (This article is only available in German)

Dr. Gerd Wirtz

Neurophysiologist, Expert on Digital HealthCare & Future of Medicine