With the powerful combination of AI’s massive pattern detecting, data crunching abilities and new technology such as 5G, the potential for IT and tech advances in healthcare across the next decade is massive. Implications when it comes to life-saving, cost-saving and peace of mind are mind-blowing.
By the end of the 2020s, we could be seeing a completely new world of convenient, reliable healthcare, with minimal human error. You might not even need to pop to the doctors anymore!
Wearable Technology Will Come into Massive Healthcare Use
With 4G, 5G and Wi-Fi allowing for all manner of effective, reliable and secure wearable technology, one of the next great leaps when it comes to ongoing care or regular check-ups will be wearable technology.
With recent releases like the AliveCor Kardia and the QardioCore products promising a raft of useful diagnostic data, effectively functioning as convenient, mobile ECG sensors. They promise to be capable of detecting heart disease, anxiety, and many more conditions. The latest software solutions in healthcare, meanwhile, offer even more flexibility, scalability, and applications.
However, with the risk of data security being front and center in many people’s minds, not many are willing to put their health in the hands of a machine just yet. A recent healthcare breach resulted in as many as 79 million medical records being affected.
The implication for childcare is also massive, with of all the wearable devices sold in China in Q4 2018, approximately 30% were targeted at children. The implications for healthcare and simple peace of mind are astounding, but until some level of assurance can be given in terms of data security, people are going to keep having their doubts.
Personal Healthcare Assessment Will Become the Norm
AI headlines paint an exceptionally bleak picture of a world of omnipresent unemployment. In reality, the future of AI, especially in conjunction with healthcare is far more positive.
With AI allowing powerful computers to break down, process and detect patterns in mind-blowingly huge amounts of data, the potential for tracking and diagnosing potential illnesses and more obscure conditions that might be missed due to human error are breath-taking.
When viewed in combination with wearable technology, AI developments paint a bright future when it comes to personal healthcare assessments, especially in the care of vulnerable individuals, such as the disabled, elderly or extremely young.
Having said that, there’s still a lot more to be done, especially when it comes to data security. Even with the EU GDPR laws, less than half of consumers trust digital health products, with 54% worrying that their data will fall into the wrong hands, and potentially even being used against them in the form of higher insurance premiums or employer discrimination in the long term.
Gene Therapy Has Huge Promise
From early gene therapy trials in the 90s, this technology has shown huge promise when it comes to detecting, avoiding and cataloging different genetic conditions and diseases.
The real turning point for this tech comes with AI and computational processing ability. With the ability to catalog, study and effectively draw conclusions from a completely sequenced genetic code, this technology could start offering huge benefits in the years to come.
Having historically been limited by technology, with the technology being used primarily on rare, specific diseases and conditions, or precise areas of the body, the potential with the addition of modern computing is mind-blowing.
Moving into the brain, for instance, has long been a major goal, but with the simple huge complexity and a massive amount of data processing required, it’s been off-limits effectively till very recently.
Epilepsy is a condition that isn’t all that well understood, and could massively benefit from gene therapy research. As it stands, epilepsy medication treats the whole body, instead of a very specific region of the brain. Gene therapy could find a way to target these specific areas. When it comes to simply boost our knowledge of the body, gene therapy coupled with powerful processing could make for some of the biggest tech-driven changes in the healthcare the world has ever seen.