Predictions about the Far Far Future of North Carolina Workers’ Compensation

September 19, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

What will the North Carolina workers’ compensation system look like 50, 100, 200, 500 years from now?

This isn’t just an absurd exercise in speculation. It is an important visualization. If the North Carolina workers’ compensation community is collectively going to make progress, break through obstacles, help people achieve better care, help businesses and insurers get a squarer deal, and so forth, then we must collectively have a conversation about the long-term future.

In a recent blog post, we discussed some of the boundaries and principles of this kind of prognostication exercise.

Now we are going to have some fun and speculate:

• Radical changes in dietary policy coupled possibly with pharmaceutical breakthroughs will help North Carolinians and the rest of the American populous defeat or at least make substantial progress against the so-called diseases of Western civilization, including obesity, diabetes, cancer, and dementia. The resulting transformation will ease our healthcare burdens substantially, but also introduce new problems.

• Amazing new technologies will make certain kinds of common workplace injuries either completely uncommon, or at least not as dangerous as they once were.

• Data sharing technology, pattern recognition software, and complex systems analyses will allow us to recognize certain dangerous activities that cause or exacerbate workplace illness and injuries – and allow us to create far more targeted approaches to wellness.

• Certain core problems based on evolutionarily limits of the human body will confound even the most futuristic technologies – at least for a long, long, long time. For instance, repetitive stress damage to the musculoskeletal system (e.g. repetitive stress syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome) may persist and even get worse and contribute to more and more North Carolina workers’ compensation problems.

• In retrospect, the technologies, solutions, and transformation of workers’ comp will seem “obvious” to our children, grandchildren, and beyond. Just like we now think of the internet and television as “obvious” and easy to use, so too will our successors think of today’s and tomorrow’s innovations as “obvious.”

Speculation can be fun and interesting and ultimately generate powerful insights, but speculation doesn’t replace the common sense and knowledgeable insight you can get from a compassionate and proven North Carolina workers’ compensation law firm.

More Web Resources:

Futurism

Limits to Futurism

 
 

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