This post is part of our new Healthcare Influencer series in which we interview the world's leading experts to get their take on the state of the industry, the top trends to watch for, and what the future holds.
1. How has the Healthcare industry evolved in the past 5 years?
JB: Healthcare has significantly evolved in the past 5 years. Many challenges are becoming more apparent and healthcare systems need to innovate and the focus on long-lasting solutions. This is now a priority. Governments and stakeholders are very concerned about sustaining existing healthcare delivery services, as the burden seems to become greater and more accelerated as time passes by.
The only way forward is to rapidly find answers, and I strongly believe that one of the answers is to use technology effectively.
2. What are the top Healthcare technology trends you're seeing?
JB: I am seeing many trends arising lately. Nevertheless we'll not be able to implement everything at once. The rise of technology advances is simply astonishing, and I’ll mention a few trends that will definitely make a big impact on healthcare delivery in the future.
Trend #1: Artificial Intelligence (Al)
I’ll start with AI. Most people use the term ‘AI’ as if it is the new buzzword in Healthcare, but very few understand what it means and the true potential of AI, as there are not many mature applications in the marketplace to refer too. I believe that anything that saves time and enables better diagnosis and communication between patients and healthcare professionals is of great value, and that's what AI promises in a broad sense.
Trend #2: Wearable Technologies
✅With regards to the wearable technologies, it seems that Healthcare without wearables technology innovation just doesn’t make sense.
After all, creating meaningful health data insights about the human body is what healthcare is all about, and wearable technologies are the most well-positioned vehicle to achieve that.
They are coming in many shapes and forms, demonstrating true potential and practical capabilities that will assist healthcare professionals to be closer to patients and even monitor them remotely. Therefore, wearable technologies will be an integral part of Healthcare delivery of the 21st Century and beyond.
3. How will AI change the Healthcare industry?
AI has the power to make a significant impact to the Healthcare Industry. The benefits of AI in healthcare will be felt in many fields pertaining to treating the patient, such as developing drugs, diagnosing medical images, targeting treatment plans, and more. We will all benefit from early disease detection, higher quality diagnosis, etc., and all of this is just the beginning.
AI allows the utilizer to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from other professionals to better understand the healthcare world. This constitutes a huge value to the supply chain and processes which make up the complexity that is the healthcare delivery. The possibilities of AI application are numerous, and innovators are working extremely hard to move more quickly in the right direction to make an impact as soon as possible.
4. How will blockchain change the Healthcare industry?
I am not an expert in Blockchain, however I can see the potential to address fundamental issues such as security and compliance. However, my only concern is if Blockchain Technology will bring more complexity to Healthcare systems without patients and users understanding how to take advantage of its benefits. In this case, it would bring value to professionals only, which should not be the extent of its benefits in the Healthcare industry.
5. What's the future of Healthcare?
The ideal futuristic scenario for Healthcare would be a world where patients need little intervention, understand Healthcare and Health, and are well educated about his/her condition or health.
Lately, I've been hearing a lot about this thesis; “The Patient In Charge of their Health”. In it, Dr. Eric Topol, a leading Physician and Digital Health visionary, challenges the status quo in medicine and shares his vision for the future of medicine, and I strongly believe that we are definitely heading in that direction. How long will it take? That is yet to be seen.
About João Bocas
As a thought leader in Wearables, João Bocas explores the intersection of Technology and Human Behavior. He also analyzes the impact of Wearable Applications by sharing future trends and global market insights. Bocas possesses more than 20 years of hands-on experience in Professional Sport and Corporate environments working with Senior Management, Boards and Executive Teams. He has worked in Healthcare, Financial Services, Media, Sporting, Third and Public Sector Organizations.