Natko Beck: Medicine of the future will have much more data and be fully personalized

Author: Editorial
event 11.07.2021.

Radiologist Natko Beck is an excellent doctor and health influencer, specialized in discussing health and humanitarian topics in impressive social media posts. The Croatian Public Relations Association named him “Communicator of the Year” in 2020, marked by the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

For this versatile doctor of Srebrnjak Children’s Hospital, this award is proof that he is following in Andrija Štampar’s footsteps when it comes to public speaking. Dr. Beck gladly participates in a number of volunteering activities, and residents and visitors of Bol on the island of Brač are no longer surprised when they see Dr. Beck on the beach with a mobile ultrasound. He went into medicine because of his grandfather, he explains, and although he was drawn to a career in science, he decided to help people directly instead. He believes that any kind of progress, both in medicine and technology, is great – including 5G. He has experience in telemedicine and says that 5G technology will bring countless opportunities to the everyman. Natko Beck speaks for about the role of technology in medicine, social life, and new trends.

5G deployment is in full swing. Radiology is a medical field that the next-generation network is expected to advance the most. What will the new era of medicine look like?

Medicine will have a lot more data, particularly personal data, and special programs will be tailored for each individual. Also, some areas of medicine will very soon become mobile and available at home.

More and more tools based on artificial intelligence are entering the medical system. Are AI tools a step towards faster and better medicine?

I am happy every time I see an AI tool implemented in my profession. Every step in that direction will make our job easier and safer. I look forward to that time.

Telemedicine, remote reading, and even remote treatment are already in practice today. The 5G network will also enable surgery and many more remote health consultations. Can such an approach expand the availability of medical services?

Of course, all this leads to more accessible medicine. It’s very important to develop smart systems with the help of AI solutions. We have a fine opportunity to make medicine not only more attainable, but very accessible.

As a medical practitioner, do you see the negative health impacts of the new network?

I am not familiar with the harmful effects of non-ionizing radiation. Professional literature does not describe any damage in vivo. So, I don’t know what the consequences would be, much less how we would measure them. Consequently, I cannot say that there are any effects of 5G on health.

Are you, as a consumer, looking forward to the 5G network and are you already using a 5G smartphone?

I use and benefit from it, as my cell phone often serves as a network resource while I work on my laptop, and I often read some pictures as well. I’m looking forward to a time when 5G will be ubiquitous, not just available in certain hotspots.

There is great debate about creating the metaverse, a virtual world where social events could take place. Are we going to hang out more and more in cyberspace?

I don’t believe in the metaverse as a substitute concept for reality. That’s something extra. Of course, there will be people that go out for virtual coffee, but something like virtual clinics makes a lot more sense to me.

You are very socially active, so we can often see your public health actions and innovative approaches such as views on Brač beaches. Do you have anything new in the works?

I do have something in the works, and I hope to soon be able to shout about it from the rooftops! All the projects I’ve worked on so far will continue, just to the nth degree; the 2022 Back Together Summit and a podcast I’m getting ready to record these days.

How did you react when you were named Communicator of the Year? What does this recognition mean to you in the context of your public work and profession?

It’s an honestly flattering title that I didn’t even know existed. It serves as confirmation of my work and “fuel” to keep going. I have a certain obligation to keep working and maintain a certain quality, which suits me because it reduces my chances of giving up.


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