Back to the future: 6 medical predictions from 1961 that were supposed to be a reality by 2000

Editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog Matt Novak unearthed a newspaper article from Jan. 5, 1961, that speculated what medical advances the world would achieve by  2000 — but Mr. Novak found many of the miracles the health industry expected to see are still science fiction.

The article, written by Associated Press science writer John Barbour and based off an interview with then-President of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Austin Smith, MD, appeared in The Express, a Lock Haven, Penn.-based publication.

Here are six medical predictions that have yet to come to fruition by 2018, as laid out by The Express:

1. Humans will take a pill to sleep for 36 hours, then be refreshed to last a full week until they have to sleep again.

2. The common cold will be nearly nonexistent.

3. Physicians will monitor sick patients with a tiny radio and measuring device taped to their chests, which they'll watch as patients go through the week to alert them of changes in their conditions.

4. Parents will be able to learn the sex of their unborn baby by the second month of pregnancy — two to three months earlier than today — and would be able to have a say in the "sort of child [they] want," alluding to the idea of "designer babies."

5. Major diseases will be cured: "By the year 2000, today's fearsome medical enemies — cancer, polio, heart disease — will be as unexciting as diphtheria, typhoid fever and smallpox are now," the article reads, according to Gizmodo.

6. The article also predicted that new drugs would be developed to combat pain — a  phenomena that has been realized, but with the unintended consequence of the opioid epidemic.

Click here to access the complete Gizmodo article.

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