Who would've thought back in 1999 that only a couple decades later we'd be meeting with our doctors via teleconference? Would your grandparents have ever believed that prescriptions could be legally written with no real face-to-face interaction at all? The state of modern medicine isn't quite in the Jetsons territory yet, but the future has arrived. Which technologies will advance healthcare into the next stratosphere?
These industry insiders weighed in on the topic. Here's what they have to say:
1. April Koh, co-founder and CEO of Spring Health
“Predictive analytics. Given the rise of consumerism in healthcare, patients want and expect solutions that are tailored to their unique needs, similar to how they engage with every other industry (ex: retail, travel, etc.). They will reject “one size fits all” solutions and gravitate towards those that offer choice, convenience, affordability, and personalization.”
2. Melanie Matheu, founder and CEO of Prellis Biologics
“Using a patient's own cells for cell and tissue replacement is the ultimate long-lived therapeutic intervention. We have now have decades of support demonstrating this in animal models and cells as therapeutics are now being developed for human health care in a serious and responsible way. We've only scratched the surface with CAR-T cell therapy as an early example of the tremendous potential of using a patients own cells for curative purposes. Re-shaping the one-drug one-target pill-based model into one of curative personal medicine interventions will have a revolutionary effect on how we view health management.”
3. Dr. Janelle Luk, Medical Director and co-founder of Generation Next Fertility
“Among the many technological advancements made in the health care industry, genetic sequencing and editing may be one of the most revolutionary techniques today. The technology can currently be used to identify specific genetic sequences that attribute to a particular disease. This may shed light on currently unknown causes of certain diseases. While still a topic of controversy, studies are being performed for gene-editing technology to create new mechanisms to treat disease. This can also lead to new preventative measures that can change the field of medicine.”
4. Kaveh Safavi, Global Head of Healthcare at Accenture
“There are so many transformative technologies being deployed in healthcare but artificial intelligence will have the greatest impact on the industry. And a recent Accenture study found 41% of healthcare executives agree. AI in healthcare has the potential to boost processing speed, performance and efficiency. One example is the use of voice-to-text transcription, which gives physicians more time to focus on the face-to-face patient care, rather than time-staking tasks like entering EHR data, ordering tests, transcribing notes and filling prescriptions. The industry could save $18 billion annually with the ability to address 20% of unmet clinical demand by using AI.”
5. Michael Demetriou, founder and CEO of Opear
“As consumers hunt for options that fit into their daily lives, the demand for mHealth and telemedicine is on the rise. Opear's app concept initially focused on childcare, but customers overwhelmingly requested that our nurses make house calls. Technologies that grow quickly are the ones that consumers are willing to pay for, and right now, all signs point to app-based care.”
“If I had to pick one emerging technology to profile, it would be voice. It is the new vital sign. It is abundant and free to access. It is so rich with data for multiple use cases. Top 3 uses for voice that will change the game in how healthcare is designed, delivered or paid for:
1. The tone/pitch/words can be paired with algorithms to predict risk for a whole slew of diseases or complications.
2. Voice will be the primary interface for data entry and communication with both patients/families and with (and between) clinicians … gone will be the need for data entry with keys or screens;
3. Breath – the number of biomarkers that can be detected with sensors of the air from the breath is growing every few months, with the ability to detect many cancer, infectious diseases and more. Further still, the breath can also be used to diagnose sleep illnesses like sleep apnea in a low invasive, democratized way.”
7. Roeland Pater, founder and CEO of Nori Health
“Self-help tools in general. Not medical devices but lifestyle-oriented and focused on prevention and personal care to optimize healthy living. For people that are already sick to help them with quality of life and avoiding unnecessary medical appointments. And for people that are not sick to prevent occurrence of (chronic) diseases.”
8. Michael DePalma, co-founder of Hu-manity
“While the reflexive answer may be “Blockchain”, I’d agree, but for reasons that may not be expected. First, while distributed ledger technology does provide for a better interoperability model for patient data to be stored and distributed on a Blockchain. Blockchain has some limitations in our current environment to solve some of the challenges it is espoused to solve. Just look at the current state of data with disparate siloed systems, the speed and storage limitations, or even the immutability of records once written (if incorrect).
These are some examples that conspire to make patient data on a Blockchain a poor choice today. However, Blockchain is ideal for other use cases to accelerate transparency in care delivery, as well as the empowerment of consumer privacy through the ability to denote the provenance and ownership of patient data for uses outside their immediate care. The industry today is a maelstrom of data, data brokers, buyers, and sellers. There is no sense today that the patient is part of this system and value chain. The result is a system disconnected from it’s most important stakeholder, the individual patient themselves. They comprise the backbone of the massive data economy, yet are disconnected from it completely. This results in many of the obvious disconnections we see between intent and delivery of care, or new therapies and new approaches to care.”
9. Ryan Kyle, Marketing and Communications at axial3D
“Medical professionals across the world are increasingly adopting 3D printing technology for clinical and research purposes; From creating patient-specific anatomical models for preoperative planning to 3D custom implants. 3D printing has been found to greatly aid and improve success rates in surgery, deliver better patient communication and outcomes, and give greater insight for medical students and junior doctors.”
10. Jeff Robbins, CEO and President of LiveData
“Machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and Systems of Intelligence (SoI). Hospitals with a large data footprint from using SoR and SoE already have an advantage. As ML becomes less of a science-fiction concept, these hospitals have more material with which to teach their analytic machines and lead to more accurate analysis and more efficient practice. These Systems of Intelligence (SoI) will update models to anticipate, influence, and optimize interactions, providing organizations with not only predictive analytics, but prescriptive analytics and recommendations, where the SoI determines and presents the implications of common decisions.”
11. João Bocas, Wearables Expert at Digital Salutem
“I would like to stick with Wearables, which is definitely one of the biggest digital transformation trends in healthcare. Now we are starting to see the true potential of Wearables in Healthcare, in terms of adoption I would argue that we are in the infancy phase. Many healthcare organizations are still trying to understand how to use wearables by bringing value to patients and users.
In terms of benefits, we all know that health data is very valuable if we can access it. Wearables are an excellent vehicle to collect data and utilize it, then the issue can be the interpretation, reliability, data flow communication and/or event data security and compliance. “
12. Matt Fairhurst, CEO and co-founder of Skedulo
“In the next decade, we’ll see more increased use of tech like remote patient monitoring devices, telehealth and digital appointments, and patient engagement solutions will become the norm- not the exception.
Having a provider visit you in your home will become increasingly common, especially for the management of chronic disease. Additionally, the evidence-based medicine approach to care has the potential to improve patient outcomes and our overall understanding of how to manage health and treat disease.
With smarter ways to monitor health, people will be more proactive about their health and seek options that are more on-demand, rather than booking appointments far in advance.”
13. Christina D. Warner, Author of The Art of Healthcare Innovation
“5G network and how it can impact and unleash the internet of things. 5G is the fifth generation of cell network, and it provides broadband access. It can enhance device connectivity, reduce cost, provide higher system capacity, reduce latency and save energy. And it can greatly impact all areas of healthcare in various ways.”
14. Khang Vuong, Founder and CEO of TalktoMira
“- Voice (natural language processing): communication is the number one most important aspect of health delivery. Voice as a solution will spearhead innovation in the next 5-10 years to increase productivity. One example is appointment booking, 89% of appointments are still being booked via phone despise many online platforms like ZocDoc or SolvHealth. Every medical office has a receptionist that spends 70-80% of her time answering the phone. Automating this portion of the value chain will create a tremendous disruption for how people interact with their healthcare providers in the future.”
15. Lauren Prentiss, Strategy Director at Captains of Industry
“Impact will vary by the part of the future continuum you focus on. In the next 3 years the impact of virtual healthcare technologies will continue to expand. There’s an ongoing debate about who should have access to patient data and when, and how can data exchanges be safely regulated. Blockchain has the potential to streamline these issues but we’re still long way off. Unexpected partnerships that are springing up among insurers are the beginnings of blockchain ecosystems. Once hospital systems participate in earnest, we’ll be able to better gauge the ETA of true industry-wide impact.”
16. Terrence Ryan, CEO of HealthChampion
““Blockchain is one of the most important ways healthcare will be affected this year. In addition to reducing paperwork, medical data will be more secure, reducing cybersecurity attacks. Patients will also be able to have access and control over their medical records, and blockchain provides traceable records, allowing for a lower risk of deleted information, missing vaccinations and false medical claims. Another benefit of blockchain – it reduces fraud through tracking on the transparent ledger for payments, prescriptions and medical documentation. Overall, this technology could dramatically improve the healthcare industry.”
17. Waqaas Al-Siddiq, CEO of Biotricity
“The ability for deep data and AI to uncover and predict a wide range of conditions and treatments is on the precipice of becoming a reality. Harnessing deep data and AI for physician consumption can enable faster diagnostics and improve accuracy by training AI to look for anomalies. Deep data can help physicians better understand patient behavior and enable them to engage with patients to drive better adherence and compliance. Better still, these insights can enable a more holistic view of a patient's condition, which can be leveraged in prescribed treatments.”
18. Mark Chataway, Principal Consultant at Hyderus
“AI as a diagnostic tool and a way of optimising treatment. Doctors are, typically, bad at diagnosis — so bad that it made House into a hit TV series that lasted for eight years. In the future, they’ll need to do much less of it as wearables spot warning signs of illness and sophisticated algorithms make the disease easier to identify. With more genetic information and big data on response characteristics, personal treatment paths will identify what is most likely to work for a given individual.
We should also expect a lot of progress in diagnostic tests that can be used in pharmacies or at home to identify viral and bacterial infections and permit fast, evidence-based interventions.
Again, the big barriers to this will be protectionism, because it will make many healthcare professionals less powerful and less well paid.”
19. Adnan Raja, Vice President of Marketing at Atlantic.Net
“Artificial Intelligence is on a crash course with Augmented Reality, especially in the healthcare space. There are many ways that both technologies can be used. For example, they can be utilized with headsets, or to enhance phones or tablets. They can equip employees with advanced features like X-ray vision, heat sensing abilities, and faster access to experts. Rather than replacing humans with machines, these technologies provide a new way to enhance the ways that machines and humans work together. They can improve design speeds and reduce the amount of time it takes for a product to get to market by erasing the need for a physical prototype. It also improves safety and compliance efforts.”
20. Mike Kisch, co-founder and CEO of Beddr
“Portable health solutions are having the biggest impact on the healthcare industry, think blood pressure or blood sugar monitors. Developing this kind of medicine enables patients to take their readings at home, go to a local pharmacy to purchase – it’s really changed the game. These solutions give individuals the chance to spend less time at the doctor’s office, where tests can sometimes be inaccurate (due to stress and/or other outside factors), and gives consumers the chance to do these tests in the comfort of their own home. They are afforded the opportunity to monitor their health at their own pace and in a place where they are comfortable. It simplifies the entire healthcare industry by giving people the ability to have access to these technologies wherever they are.
When we talk about the kinds of products that will disrupt the industry, it’s evident that patients appreciate ways that they can simplify tests, minimize office visits and in effect, create the biggest impact on their health. We’re seeing that with telemedicine developments and health services which work one-on-one with patients to provide them with personalized care. Ultimately, this shift will allow technology to continue to facilitate these processes and eliminate burden on both the medical professional and patient.”
21. Anthony Fernando, Chief Operating Officer and CTO at TransEnterix
“Digital laparoscopy will have the biggest impact on healthcare. Since 2000, robotic surgery systems have proven inefficient and not cost effective. The FDA cleared the first digital laparoscopic robotic surgery platform that digitizes the interface between surgeons and patients with responsible economics–the Senhance Surgical System. It’s the only open-architecture platform with eye-tracking camera control, haptic feedback and 3 mm instruments for microlaparoscopic procedures. Compared to today’s vertical platforms this system is the future of digital health. Digital laparoscopy gives surgeons more clinical intelligence, comfort and confidence to improve patient experiences and outcomes—with per-procedure costs similar to traditional laparoscopy.”
22. Jeff Schwab, Vice President of Marketing for Dominion National
“Telemedicine will have a huge impact on healthcare as it continues to gain momentum. Telemedicine allows healthcare providers to leverage innovative technology to better engage consumers and provide them with the necessary tools and information to stay on top of their health.”
23. Patrick Gauthier, Director of Healthcare Solutions at Advocates for Human Potential
“The biggest impact will come from data exchange and integration engines. Until and unless our systems of care can – in real time – share and aggregate data to the extent that analysts and researchers can then mine data from many disparate sources, we will flounder. What we need now is a return to efforts dating back a decade to develop Regional Health Information Organizations or RHIOs. The HITEC Act and massive federal funding launched this effort in 2009, made tremendous progress and then simply faded away into obsolescence. We must get back to data exchange. Without it, we resort to our silo of information and cannot realize the value of the Triple Aim.”
24. Adam K. Anderson, Chief Scientific Officer of Neuronytics
“Blockchain and AI will have the biggest impact on the healthcare industry as medical associations, healthcare and tech companies begin to identify the utility of Blockchain and the impact larger and more detailed datasets can have on preventive health and proactive rather than reactive care. Blockchain/AI are the logical next steps in terms of collecting and commodifying health data, linking this wealth of information to critical applications in the preventive health sphere and empowering patients to control its uses and results.”
25. Alfred Poor, Ph.D., Editor of Health Tech Insider
“Healthcare will be shaped by wearable and mobile health technology. Inexpensive and accurate sensors make it practical to track key biometric data for everyone, not just patients who are ill. Easy access to the Internet means that an individual's data can be shared immediately and securely with caregivers and health professionals. Artificial intelligence can monitor patient data and trigger alerts before a problem becomes serious, so that it can be treated early at lower cost and with better results. Telehealth will give easier access to healthcare services, both in remote rural and underserved urban areas.”
26. Paula Muto, MD, Founder and CEO of UBERDOC
“The best technologies will connect patients and doctors outside the system with a transparent and affordable price. Just like ride sharing services democratized access to transportation, newer consumer driven models, like UBERDOC, is disrupting the status quo by allowing patients the right to choose what is best for them and best of all will drive the price down.”
27. Vanessa Valerio, VP and COO at Care Indeed
“A large majority of clients in need of home care are living with dementia, which is no surprise to all of us in the industry. With dementia on the rise, and projected to affect 14 million people by 2050, home care agencies need to reevaluate how to better prepare caregivers – giving them opportunities to develop the specific skills needed in this line of work in an efficient and safe environment.
That’s where virtual reality comes in. We have found that immersive experiences leave a lasting impression on the caregiver. I think we are the tip of the ice-burg when it comes to virtual reality in healthcare and the impact this type of training could have on our industry. Caregivers can make mistakes in a safe space without it affecting a person in real life. They get to have a real interaction with their client and will see how their responses and interactions affect the client’s demeanor. The overall goals are to increase caregiver confidence and skill before going into the field. Caregivers will take what they’ve learned in the classroom then turn right around and utilize it in an immersive VR experience.”
28. Shawn Kernes, Co-Founder and CEO of LARKR On-Demand Behavioral Health
“Our phones and other portable devices are becoming increasingly more powerful. Increased utilization of their massive potential for telemedicine over the coming years will be hugely impactful for the healthcare industry. A wider selection of healthcare providers, location-independent access to consultations, more effective and flexible payment options, and adaptable scheduling are among the many positive changes telemedicine is bringing to patients.”
29. Neil J. Gajjar, DDS, MAGD, President at the Academy of General Dentistry
“In both dentistry and healthcare, we are beginning to witness the impact of artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and gene mapping. We will see AI used to help in the diagnosis and treatment planning process using results from decades of procedural analysis and outcomes. Automation will allow the milling and 3D printing of implants, bones, dentures, missing portions of teeth, and other hard and soft tissues. Finally, testing saliva and blood will allow us to isolate genetic markers to determine susceptibility to cavities and other oral conditions. This information can also be used to develop vaccines or change code to prevent these oral conditions in the first place.”
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