The Doctor Will Monitor You Now: 2015 In Health

Sick? There’s an app for that. But maybe it doesn’t matter, because of the anti-aging pill.


In 2015, improving sensor and mobile technology continued to provide creative ways to improve health monitoring. Ingestible “stethoscopes” can now monitor our health all the time, smartphones can test for HIV, and biosensor patches can report back our vital signs.


It was a rollercoaster year in terms of large health stories. West Africa beat its Ebola crisis, and scientists worries about the ethical implications of a demonstration in China that showed how to edit the genes of human embryos.

High-powered computing and DNA sequencing helped make some unique health breakthroughs in 2015, such as in the area of spinal cord injuries and diabetes. More discoveries like this are expected. Cheap gene sequencing has meant continued breakthroughs in the field of microbiome research and has even allowed 17-year-olds to make discoveries.

Meanwhile, we continued to worry about the obesity crisis, stress at work, and an unhealthy retirement (If we can retire at all) this year–but it seems that a little exposure to trees might be one thing we can do to ease our minds just a little. Or just pop this anti-aging pill, backed by one of the world’s experts in the aging process.

1: This 17-Year-Old Has Discovered DNA Mutations That Could Combat HIV And Meningitis

High schooler Andrew Jin is answering previously unasked questions in biology.

Gio.tto via Shutterstock

2: One Of The World’s Top Aging Researchers Has A Pill To Keep You Feeling Young

Elysium Health hasn’t discovered the fountain of youth, but their new supplement—with the backing of some of the world’s foremost authorities on aging—could change how you get older.

Sarah Salmela/Getty Images

3: Your Employer’s Plans To Make You Healthier Don’t Work—Because Your Job Is Killing You

Your company probably spends a lot on a “corporate wellness program,” but its efforts are probably wasted.

Reza Estakhrian/Getty Images

4: NASA Explains Why You Should Live On A Tree-Lined Street—And A Tree-Lined City


Just get more trees in your life.

urtix via Shutterstock

5: You Will Not Get To Retire: How Old Age Became Unaffordable And Unhealthy, And How We Can Fix It

The days of retiring peacefully and financially secure are close to being over. Get ready for a lot more seniors in the work force—which has the potential to be both a problem and an opportunity.

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg/Getty Images

6: The “Female Viagra” Is Here: The Story Of How It Almost Never Happened

Will this new pill put women on equal footing with men when it comes to treating sexual dysfunction—or is it just a drug company creating a medical solution to a problem that a pill can’t fix?


7: A Sweaty Trip Inside Bill Gates’s Mock Ebola Ward

I was in a cool room at TED, not a sweltering hospital in Liberia—and yet, I could barely take the protective gear. Can’t we do better?

Ariel Schwartz

8: This Incredible Attachment Turns Your Phone Into An HIV And Syphilis Test

Diagnosis easier around the world—both in communities with no electricity and in your house.

Undrey via Shutterstock

9: This Ingestible Stethoscope Monitors Your Health As It Passes Through Your Gut


In the future, monitoring your heart and lung health could be as simple as popping a little pill.

Crystal Home via Shutterstock

10: The Latest Medical Breakthrough In Spinal Cord Injuries Was Made By A Computer Program

New software sifts through the information gathered in long forgotten studies and finds new avenues for researchers to pursue—like a new advance in treating spinal injuries.

Alpha Zynism via Shutterstock

11: Poop Transplants And Microbiome Makeovers: How We’ll Engineer Our Bacteria To Feel Better

Don’t get squeamish. You’re going to take a poop pill one day soon, and it’s going to change your life.


About the author

Jessica Leber is a staff editor and writer for Fast Company's Co.Exist. Previously, she was a business reporter for MIT’s Technology Review and an environmental reporter at ClimateWire