The Future of Healthcare: What to expect in the next 10-20 years


New Delhi: The world of medicine is changing faster than ever. Despite all the challenges that healthcare faces today, experts believe that they will be able to tackle some grave issues in the years ahead. And as we look ahead to an era where there are no incurable diseases and replacement organs come from a device, talked to Dr Harish Pillai, CEO, Aster India at Aster DM Healthcare, who shares his insights on the future of healthcare, including the top trends transforming the medicine. Take a look below:

(Dr Harish Pillai, CEO – Aster India, Aster DM Healthcare)

Artificial intelligence: Embedding artificial intelligence in healthcare would help in prognostication and decision making. Even as we speak, AI has proven itself as a valuable aid for clinicians who would otherwise have been blind-sighted due to the lack of time or knowledge of key breakthroughs or trends in literature. AI compounded with quantum computing technology will be able to crunch data at a faster pace to identify trends in diseases that can be intervened effectively by clinicians.

Wearables: Thanks to companies like Apple, Samsung, etc. we have a plethora of wearables for use by the common man. Increasingly, R&D is focusing on non-invasive tools of measuring physical parameters, including blood chemistry, physiological parameters like pulse rate, respiration rate, heart rate and temperature under constant monitoring. This interface of wireless-enabled wearables will bring in a new era of 24/7 ambulatory care monitoring that may require physician consultation strictly on a ‘need-to basis’ and not on ‘random check-ups’ while facing unknown symptoms.

Blockchain: Blockchain technology has the potential to transform healthcare by placing the patient at the centre and providing the much-needed interoperability along with the security and privacy of health data. This technology could provide new models for healthcare business considering dis-intermediation by third party insurance companies, thereby reducing the unnecessary administrative cost burden on healthcare. Yet, the true value of blockchain technology would be to provide Lifetime Patient Medical Record (LPMR) across all medical touchpoints.

Augmented and Virtual Reality for medical education: The world of augmented and virtual reality is at the forefront of opportunity for training of healthcare workers, including clinicians, nurses and paramedical staff. This will be a great disruptor in the traditional model of medical and nursing colleges as we know it today. We might be able to mass-produce skilled and competent professionals with the aid of such technologies and online learning platforms.

Augmented Being: We will witness the era of androids, or android-like beings, where biomechanics will be at an advanced stage by using specialised bio-compatible materials that will help in the creation of artificial organs and artificial exoskeletons, or even sense organs that will augment the ability of normal human beings. There is also a postulation that one may be able to download one’s consciousness into the world wide web and thereby achieve immortality by preserving consciousness. Things that were once in the realm of science fiction is now becoming a fact.

Robotics, Nanoparticles and Precision Medicine: We would find that the world has gone beyond the master-slave type of robots that we see today, to more autonomous robots which are able to carry out a wide range of complex surgeries with higher precision and better clinical outcomes. At the other end of the spectrum, the age of intelligent swarm-based nanoparticles will be able to collaborate with each other for repairing cellular level tissue damage of internal organs and hard to reach anatomical spaces in the human body. We are also witnessing the era of precision medicine due to the understanding of human genomics and the increased availability of point-of-care gene analysis kits and new age immune therapy molecules. This will enable us to precisely tailor-make therapy which is unique to individuals.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author are personal and do not in any way represent those of Times Network)

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