Digital Health is a cultural transformation, not just a set of new technologies. Written by e-Patient Dave deBronkart and Dr. Bertalan Meskó.
What if Dr. Alexa offered you the next appointment with your doctor in the Amazon Clinic? What if you could buy your prescription drugs in Amazon’s online pharmacy? What if you could get your personalized plaster cast from the 3D Printing Department? In light of the recent moves of Amazon and other tech giants in the healthcare field, we imagined what it would look like if Amazon operated an entire hospital.
A young Hungarian designer re-designed the traditional ECG Holter into an easily applicable and smart ECG wearable. It’s just one example how design will appear in healthcare in the future; how elements of design thinking and (user interface) UX will become an organic part of the development of medical devices.
Makerspaces, DIY labs and communities for fabricating objects are multiplying at an unimaginable speed. As such spaces, equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters and many other digital tools, are perfect for building health sensors or medical alert systems, The Medical Futurist team had to experiment with it. I cannot be more enthusiastic about both the idea and its realization!
The shooting of 2001: A Space Odyssey began fifty-two years ago, on 29 December 1965, but it still looks modern and believable. One of the best sci-fi movies of all times, if not the very best. What was the secret of Stanley Kubrick and what does that mean for modern healthcare? For example, he deliberately designed the cinematic future with the help of experts from NASA or the IBM, not “just” with artists. This is only one way how healthcare could benefit from adopting Kubrick’s methods: by letting people outside of the medical industry change current practices for the better. There are plenty of other useful ideas how we can reinvent healthcare using the mastermind’s playbook.
The Canadian government recognized the current challenges in their healthcare system alongside the rapid technological developments and their potential for changing medicine for good. Thus, a Senate Committee invited researchers, ethicists, entrepreneurs, and futurists like me to discuss the way forward. Recently, they published their findings containing actionable recommendations for the future. This is the way every responsible government should follow if they want to bring their healthcare system into the 21st century. I’m honored to have taken part in it.
The accumulation of medical data enables health insurance companies to move from the 100-year-old concept of reactive care to preventive medicine. The future points to simple, fast and highly personalized insurance plans based on information from the healthcare system and data from health sensors, wearables, and trackers. Here is the changing health insurance scene and its most innovative solutions!