Today’s healthcare industry is very different from how it was five years ago, and there are also significant changes underway in the way healthcare will be delivered 10 years from now. In order to understand what might happen with the healthcare industry in the future, we need to understand what’s driving these changes right now. Here are four trends that will shape the future of healthcare over the next five years.
Telemedicine is expanding rapidly, and we’re increasingly likely to interact with medical professionals through video conferencing or by email. It may feel impersonal—but it also makes it easier for doctors to help us in times of need, even if we’re not in their physical vicinity. If you have a serious problem, you can easily call up your doctor and get advice without getting on a plane or driving across town.
2) Wearable Technology
According to a recent report by Accenture, more than three-quarters of consumers are willing to put wearable technology on their bodies in exchange for access to products and services. The most common place they’d like to wear a sensor? Their wrist. That may indicate they’re ready for wearable devices such as smartwatches or fitness trackers.
But it also means they’re open to other kinds of sensors—such as ones that monitor blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and even brain activity. In fact, many people are already wearing these sorts of sensors—they just don’t know it yet.
3) AI in Diagnosis
Artificial intelligence is making a name for itself in diagnostic medicine. IBM’s Watson, for example, has been trained to interpret and process huge amounts of patient data more quickly than human doctors can. It can comb through 1 million patient records in less than 3 seconds—which would take a human doctor 2 weeks. And it has already helped medical professionals detect difficult-to-spot forms of cancer and treat patients with lung disease more effectively.
4) Personalized Healthcare
The holy grail for every industry is to develop a process or product that can be tailored to individual needs, wants and tastes. With advances in technology and artificial intelligence, we’re moving closer towards delivering personalised healthcare for everyone. The future is bright, but if you’re going to ride that wave, you need to have a clear understanding of how it will all shake out.