2011 Predictions in Medicine, Healthcare, Technology and Innovation

I hope everyone survived New Year’s Eve and the first days of work, so it’s just time to share my predictions for 2011 in medicine, healthcare, technology and innovation. I would love to get feedback about any of these points so please tell us what you think!

  1. This is going to be the year of tablets, and I’m not only talking about the iPad, but also Samsung Galaxy Tab (which I will write about in details soon) and others. New medical and media apps designed only for these tablets will appear.
  2. As the number of medical websites and the number of people searching for medical resources are both increasing, online medical content curation will become crucially important. See Webicina.com.
  3. Prezi will keep on developing into a collaborative brainstorm platform besides being the best presentation tool out there. Although there will be an increase in the no slides zone.
  4. The number of medical mobile apps will increase rapidly (with Android becoming the dominant platform).
  5. Social media policies about using SM as a medical professional, patient or pharma will be published by authorities and organizations (I’ll try to initiate this process a bit in the next couple of weeks).
  6. Voice will be a critical interface for mobile and tablet apps. See Siri and Vlingo.
  7. Second Life has no future as free virtual worlds will become apparent. See Visuland.com.
  8. Social media analytical services focusing on medicine and healthcare will rise. See Newistic.
  9. At least one medical school (my prediction is Stanford) will implement digital-only classes without real medical books or materials on paper. Everything (without an exception) will be shared on mobiles or tablets.
  10. Personalized medicine will almost be there with microlabors, at-home DTC tests, etc. DTC genomic companies such as Pathway Genomics, Navigenics or 23andMe will publish more papers focusing on results obtained from crowdsourcing.
  11. Force feedback will appear in virtual worlds and telemedical solutions. Imagine apps describing skin conditions which you can touch and feel through the surface of the tool with force feedback. See examples from the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality conference.
  12. Empowered patients will keep on developing their own applications and tools for better health management. As it strikes me they don’t want to wait any more for healthcare developers to create useful and relevant apps for them so they will do it themselves. Believe me, a diabetic e-patient can design better apps for diabetes management than any endocrinologists.
  13. Impact factor will keep on losing its power and importance compared to article level metrics although that is not the solution for measuring scientific value of a particular paper (citation number excluding self-citations should be enough, IMHO).
  14. All pharma companies will have proper social media presence by the end of 2011 not because it’s good for anyone but because they will think they have to.
  15. By the end of the year 2011, we will all realize that improving technology and providing the stakeholders of healthcare with proper technology won’t be enough as there must be a balance between the number/complexity of technological solutions we use and the benefits they provide (e.g. having an iPhone itself in a medical practice doesn’t mean it will lead to any kind of benefits).