DMC Medical Center
I worked on the DMC medical center today. So far, I've put together some intro text for first time and repeat visitors, and mapped out the services I expect them to provide. Since the tech-level in the DMC is pretty high, I wanted the facility to offer a pretty wide range of services.
However, I wanted to keep things reasonable. The clinic should represent professional-grade care, not necessarily a magic "reset button" for health. The nanorobotic medkit is already pretty fancy, and should probably represent the upper limit of what is available. Furthermore, I wanted the clinic to offer targeted services, for specific conditions, instead of a general "fix everything" option. I figured this would not only encourage players to be a bit more strategic, but also provide "a la carte" services if the major treatments are too expensive.
Here's the list I'm working with at the moment:
- Pain Management - buying prescription painkillers
- Sleep Disorders - buying sleeping pills
- Core Body Temperature Regulation - recover from hypothermia or hyperthermia (i.e. heatstroke)
- Rehydration and Micronutrient Therapy - oral or intravenous rehydration and nutrient solutions, to restore hunger/thirst (this is pretty pricey compared to eating diner food, but it's something medical facilities actually provide when treating cholera, etc., so I figured why not?)
- Full Diagnostic Work-up - blood testing, imaging, full physical, and toxicology screen. I want to see if I can somehow make this list all current health conditions on the player, so they can better choose services to apply.
- Clean and Dress Wounds - cleans and disinfects wounds, closes open wounds with sutures or Suturefoam, and splints any broken limbs.
- Antibiotics - buy prescription antibiotics
- Broad-base Nanorobotic Suspension Treatment - Like the medkit, this introduces a suspension of fluids, drugs, and nanorobots which are designed to attack or suppress many known bacterial, viral, and toxic agents in the body, as well as boost immune system and natural healing processes for a short time. Sufficient to treat several illnesses and poison, and speed up recovery. However, some illnesses are still untreatable, and existing symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, wounds, and infections usually remain, and must heal normally.
- Blood Transfusion - Restores the patient's blood supply, by introducing a volume of compatible blood or synthetic equivalent to restore normal blood pressure. Extremely expensive procedure. (Currently, 13x the next most expensive service.) Blood is still a precious thing in the DMC, and the procedure takes considerable time, equipment, and manpower. However, blood has one of the slowest restoration rates for players under normal circumstances, and is a huge factor in recovery of other health issues. So if a player were nearly drained of blood, this might actually be worth the cost. Otherwise, rest and food/water is much cheaper.
Prices are all based on "parts and labor," so to speak. I'll probably need to adjust them over time.
I'm also considering making some sort of dystopian payment plan for healthcare. All of the above services are paid by cash, but there would probably be alternative payment options, given that most people couldn't afford the actual costs.
One idea that I've heard is an augmented reality (AR) healthcare sponsorship. The movie Hardwired mentions a sort of corporate sponsorship model, where patients are implanted with a chip that overlays advertisements on their vision, in exchange for treatments they cannot afford.
The film is pretty awful, so be forewarned. And they go a bit overboard with the killswitch/bomb bit. But I think there's some plausibility to the program. Sponsors would pay for a captive audience. Especially if that audience could be tracked and monitored, and the AR ads contextualized to fit their current activities.
I mean, imagine a dude with chronic migraines going in for treatment under this program. Pharmaceutical companies would be climbing over each other to get a chip into that guy's head, just to feed him Advil ads when his headaches started acting up. He'd be getting on the monorail after a day's work, and as he passes the turnstyle kiosk, an ad would flash up, "don't forget to stock up on Advil!"
It might only make sense to discount costs on such a program, rather than cover the costs entirely. But I think it might be an interesting thing to add, which not only helps players afford the service, but paints a bit more detail and atmosphere in the setting. And if I could find the time to write some ads, it could introduce some gallows humor if the player was dying of cholera out in the wasteland, and Chemico decided that was a good time to display an ad for their "AquaPur water purification tablets."
That Chemico. Always looking out for you! Even if it's the last thing you see before dying!