Life and Death in the Future: Healthier, and Better

Editor’s note: Quartz asked some of the boldest thinkers how they envision the future for their The World in 50 Years series, with various experts across fields answering questions about the future of work and the economy to what we will eat. Here’s a16z general partner Vijay Pande’s answer to the question, “How will we die?”

We will still die. But we will die much older than we are now, by as much as one or two decades. And we will remain healthier much longer, so that when we do die, we don’t die from chronic disease.

In short, we will run and run like the Energizer bunny, for the most part healthy and strong, until we suddenly stop (at perhaps as much as 120 years). We will achieve this through: a) detecting and preventing chronic diseases far earlier than we do now, before they wreak irreversible destruction in our bodies; b) a deep understanding of the processes and functions by which aging happens, which in turn makes us susceptible to chronic disease; and c) using that understanding of aging to develop key factors (like proteins or small molecules) that we will use to dramatically slow down or stave off aging for much longer.

Finally, when we do die, thanks to the decentralization and unbundling of all the functions of the hospital as we know it today, we will die at home, in our own beds, peacefully surrounded by family and monitored and supported by a fabric of invisible technology woven into the home all around us.

— first appeared here; see also related pieces for more on the topic, below!