Shared By The Many: Advances in technology are allowing for the provision of affordable, decentralized healthcare for the masses and are lowering the barriers to entry in less developed markets.
The analysis in PSFK’s Future of Health Report has yielded a number of insights, the most evident of which is mobile technology as a catalyst for change. The mobile phone and connected tablet computer are allowing for the distribution of a broad range of medical and support services. This is especially important in countries with little or no healthcare infrastructure and areas in which there are few trained healthcare professionals. These technologies also allow trained professionals to perform quality control remotely.
Amongst the many significant developments is a shift towards one-on-one, in- field diagnostics and monitoring. Services that were once only available at a doctor’s office or hospital are now available on-demand through low-tech, affordable solutions. Personal systems allow for ‘good enough’ diagnostics that would have been difficult, expensive and timely to attain previously.
Using a basic phone with adapted software, a health worker can test for myriad symptoms - even cancer. This information can be relayed to a central medical care center where doctors and trained professionals can react to the data, provide prompt diagnosis and suggest treatment options. The ability to capture this data and get quick responses remotely means better healthcare, fewer trips to the hospital (which, for many means days away from home and family), and less time away from work.
A change is also occurring that is seeing increased access to and sharing of health information. This is made possible by the proliferation of systems designed to overcome infrastructure insufficiencies. these systems are enabling the broadcast of information and receipt of subsequent feedback in virtually any setting. From ‘town crier’ systems to ‘internet by text’, the collective knowledge found on the web is being made available to populations around the world who previously lacked access. The connectivity that is enabling the sharing of health information is also powering the growth of social networks focused on health and medical care. These networks are allowing professionals, health workers and individuals to connect and share knowledge quickly.
PSFK’s Future of Health Report details 15 trends that will impact health and wellness around the world. Simple advances such as off-the-grid energy and the introduction of gaming into healthcare service offerings sit alongside more future-forward developments such as bio-medical printing. It is our hope that this report will inspire your thinking and lead to services, applications and technologies which will allow for more available, quality healthcare.
For a download of this report - visit: http://www.psfk.com/future-of-health
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