Healthcare is about to change beyond recognition. A host of technologies are uniting to transform the way we treat patients and develop new cures – from artificial intelligence and robotics to virtual reality and connected devices
Over the past decade, mobile technology has transformed the world we live in – changing everything from the way we watch television to the way we hail taxis. Now a new revolution is set to change healthcare for ever – one driven by mobile technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies.
“Those devices would not have been possible without the convergence of technologies – cheaper storage, smaller processing chipsets and longer battery life.
“Today, healthcare is at that point. The emergence of big data, cloud technologies, smartphone adoption and an explosion of data capture suddenly enable data to be linked together and processed for new insights.”
This is the crest of a wave. In the coming years, 5G will enable surgeons to perform robotic operations from other continents. Augmented reality will change our understanding of the human body. AI will help us fight illnesses that have defeated even the best care givers. Everything is changing, and it’s all down to those little ones and zeroes flying through the air.
Duncan Banks, lecturer in biomedical sciences at the Open University, has been investigating the use of health trackers made by companies such as Samsung in the UK – and says his over-55 patients respond well to using such gadgets.
Within hospitals too, outcomes are changing. With everything from hospital beds to scanners now connected using technologies such as Bluetooth tags, hospitals can track patients and treatments in a way that was impossible before
Morten Illum, EMEA vice-president for Aruba, says: “Patients are going in for operations equipped with real-time location tracking systems, which then inform their loved ones when they’re successfully out of surgery. Other important uses include doctors accessing X-ray data from their mobile devices at your bedside.”