Do you think that your Doctor is limited to filling out prescriptions, and writing sick notes for your boss? Think again.
Some of our most-widely respected members of society - our clinicians, doctors and nurses – are coming up with tech solutions to the most common issues they face on a day-to-day basis. With a quick Google search, you can easily find tons of apps and software that has been developed by clinicians, for patients.
When you think about it, this is often an excellent solution. Someone who has first-hand knowledge and experience of the most common issues in practice, turning their hand to creating a solution? Sounds like a great mindset to have. But, should it be the job of our already overworked physicians to create and implement new software?
Smart watches to track your blood pressure, smart necklaces that track your sleep, and smart inhalers for people with asthma: the implementation of AI and biometric tracking into our lives is becoming commonplace. There’s no sign of the trend coming to a stop either. According to a report by GM Insights, the Smart Health market is estimated to be worth an incredible 206 billion globally by 2024: a staggering amount of money.
The most common metrics for success in this market, seems to be ensuring that adoption rates are high, but more pressingly that the abandonment rates are low. In essence, the tech needs to be purposeful, intuitive, and complimentary to everyday life.
Be Your Own Doctor
This trend runs off the back of the ‘Smart Health’ trend, and revolves around giving patients the power to control and monitor their own health. This might include apps that allow tracking and daily monitoring, or perhaps linking wearable technology to the user’s smartphone, so they have easy access to biometric data that is captured.
This trend revolves around two major factors: education and personality type. Patients need to know what they are looking for, and what statistics might be problematic, and they need to be of a personality type where this kind of data is of interest to them, in order to provide a positive reason to keep tracking.
To newly anointed techies, this might sound like jargon pulled straight from a Futurism lecture, however it’s a legitimate – and promising – type of treatment. Gameification can vary in its format, but essentially incorporates the use of Virtual or Augmented Reality in treatment.
An excellent example is Sea Hero Quest – a game produced by researchers at where in collaboration with Art Directirs from Saatchi and Saatchi, and bit more info
The game has allowed researchers to collect data from over how many players worldwide, and it is hoped that this will contribute hugely into researchsbf and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
This is one of the most exciting and promising trends of healthcare, and I’ve cheated a bit because it’s a very broad subject.
Essentially, in this Information Age, we have access to more data than ever before – a trend that is not limited to the consumer. Hospitals and researchers, for example, have been collecting data on patients for years, meaning that care can become stratified, and - even better – that illnesses can be predicted before they occur.
So what we are seeing is a rise in preventative medicine and care, enhanced possibilities for education, and the rise of the ‘AI doctor’. All of these things are exciting, because they mean lessening the burdens on our healthcare system in the future. If patients are told in their early twenties that they are at risk of developing a particular cancer, they can make lifestyle adjustments decades before this cancer occurs. Or, if an individual experiences a sudden loss of balance, they can already consult an AI doctor without ever leaving home, answering simple questions that can lead them to accurately diagnose an illness, and receive accurate treatment in the post.
With rising funding in Genomics, for Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence, the future of healthcare should move towards a more preventative model: healthcare keeping us healthy. So, what we need to Decide quickly, is Who controls this data? Who has access to it? And who will regulate it?
More in-depth articles to come.
Review of Web Summit
We love to visit new conferences and keep our eye on the market, particularly when it comes to emerging technologies. It’s important that we get around and see what is happening in other countries, and not focusing on UK-centric technologies when our true focus is on innovation.
Lisbon was undoubtedly an incredible backdrop for the Conference, providing sun and ample hospitality from the locals.