12 Predictions in Healthcare, Technology and Innovation for 2012

Last year, I published a list of my predictions for 2011 in the areas of healthcare, innovation and technology. Now after a year, I checked these items and actually many of them proved to be right (year of tablets, Prezi.com skyrocketing, Siri leading the way for voice controlled apps, etc.), but now it’s time to come up with the predictions for 2012. Here are my 12 predictions, please feel free to add yours in the comment section.

1) Digital only class in social media for medical professionals and e-patients. Well, that’s quite an easy prediction, as I will launch the global form of my social media in medicine university course this February.

2) Social media policy everywhere. Now that we have an open access social media guide for and about pharma; it’s time for the FDA to come up with their own detailed instructions; also universities, healthcare institutions and medical practices, everyone must have its own as almost everyone is using social media intensively.

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3) Augmented reality in radiology. Augmented reality has been a major issue for some time, but seeing the video below made it clear for me, this is where we are going to head in 2012. Doctors can see through patients.

4) Health-fitness gadgets will rock 2012. Myself, I’ve been using Striiv as a fitness motivation tool which also logs my data and visualizes my exercises making it easier for me to make plans and see how I’m doing. Other examples include  Jawbone, but you can find even more if you follow the Quantified Self project.

5) Innovations in screen technologies. The form, material and functions of the screens we know now will change dramatically in 2012. Imagine paper screen, holographic screens or flexible screens on your wrist.

6) Internet TV and the operating room. The news sites are full of Apple TV and Google TV, so it’s obvious really innovative internet TVs will be launched in 2012 which brings up the idea of watching operations live on your TV at home. Just check OR-live.com.

7) Pharma will be using social media more intensively. I’m not saying all the pharma companies will have properly designed and managed social media presence, but many brands will use social media more intensively as we should be over now the so-called learing phase and they are getting braver by time.

8) More and more tablet-specific apps. I know the number of medicine/health-related mobile apps is growing rapidly, but now it’s time to turn to tablet-specific clinical apps that could be used in radiology, clinical trials or just for grand rounds.

9) Tablets in healthcare institutions. Whenever I talked to professors and colleagues about how I use my tablet in medicine and healthcare, in a few weeks, many of them had their own tablets and started using those apps. This is contagious. In 2012, a lot of hospitals, clinics and departments will hand out iPad or Galaxy Tabs to their employees in order to facilitate teamwork and make the work processes more efficient.

10) Wikipedia will have more medical featured articles, less medical errors. We recently published a paper describing how Wikipedia can be used for global public health promotion. After years of focus on creating new medical entries in Wikipedia, now we the editors focus on including proper references into medical articles. It is going to lead to a huge improvement in quality.

11) More health bloggers turn to microblogging due to lack of time. Although I believe my blog is still my major platform online even if Twitter is the fastest channel and Facebook is the most interactive. But I understand those health bloggers who leave their blogs and turn to Posterious, Tumblr or Twitter exclusively. It takes less time to post a message or entry therefore they will use these with a bigger chance.

12) Google+ health pages on the rise. I like Google+ and I think it could be used in medical communication successfully. As Google+ has only been letting companies or institutions have G+ pages, we are going to see a rise in their number soon. Even Ed Bennett who maintains a list of hospital social media accounts will include these as well.

Let’s finish my list with a great presentation about the trends in healthcare for 2012.

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