Top 20 Technologies that Will Change our Lives: Next Up – Digital Medicine
By 2020, we’re expected to have approximately 20 billion devices globally. China is projected to have 5.1 billion and India, 1.5 billion. In just five years, we are looking at a world of 10 connected devices per household. What does this mean? Digital content is doubling every 18 months, and 90 percent of all data today has been created in the last two years.
The global big data market is expected to generate revenue of over $122 billion by 2025. This is resulting in “connectivity” becoming the foundation of life, transcending to a connected home, connected workplace and eventually leading to a connected city. For example, in the home, energy utilization, wellness monitoring, home automation and entertainment is all converging to a single or multiple devices. Mobile healthcare (mHealth) is expected to become one of the biggest technology breakthroughs that will help reduce the burden on chronic disease management in the future. The global mHealth market is expected to be between 30 billion to 60 billion dollars in revenue globally in 2015. There is no real consensus, unfortunately, on the exact size of this market. Connectivity and mobility are giving rise to some new concepts on which the tenants of future healthcare will be built upon – concepts such as “Continuous Healthcare,” “Instant Healthcare” and “My Healthcare.”
Continuous Healthcare: As opposed to discrete interactions, the provision of healthcare is moving to a model where information is being transmitted and shared in real time between individuals and caregivers. This is especially relevant for chronic disease management such as hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Alzheimer’s, which is responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. Chronic diseases impact nearly half the U.S. adult population; more than 20 percent of the total adult population has between two to three chronic diseases.
Diabetes is a leading example of an area where we are seeing the impacts of early lessons being absorbed and applied across industries. One example – remote monitoring reducing hospital readmissions and overall cost. Some of the FDA-cleared glucose meters such as Telcare transmit information directly to a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant server. This device comes with a call center-based diabetes management program and gives both clinical coaching and guidance to the user. The icing on the cake is that it is priced competitively to traditional glucose meters and strips.
The next stage of continuous healthcare will be the advent of ingestible sensors and skin embedded sensing. Doctors will soon be prescribing ingestible sensors, which will wirelessly report back on the body’s vital signs on a 24/7 basis. Proteus Digital Health’s digital medicines contain a tiny sensor that is activated in the stomach and communicates information about how an individual is taking their medication and how their body is responding to therapy.
Instant Healthcare: Depending on location, wait times to a see a clinician can range from days to weeks – or even months for some countries. Through virtualization, the majority of routine care can happen within minutes and even seconds. Remote diagnostic screening has become common in some countries and markets. Soon, we shall see the advent of telesurgery for routine procedures using robots and nurse assistants. Home-based robotic assistants are expected to become commonplace over the next 10 years with prices between $1,000 to $4,000 to complete many daily activities, set reminders and other tasks.
My Healthcare: Rather than the one-size fits all approach, care will increasingly become customized in infinite variations to best tailor the approach to the individual and their family. Care will be centered on the consumer, and slowly, care coordinators and electronic medical records will drive a personalized approach to delivery. Personalized medicine will also enable customization of drugs and drug combinations with the utilization of companion diagnostic tools that will help to determine a person’s genetic makeup and concomitant conditions. Personalized therapeutics is here to stay. Physicians and patients have become increasingly aware that people often react or respond to medications very differently.
The following technologies highlighted in the graphic below showcase the impact they will have on the consumer at one end and on the clinician at the other over the next 5 to 15 years. This will surely change our lives and lead to many more new industries and service models being created as the current ones either collapse or disrupt.