Health and healthcare is on the cusp of a seismic shift. In less than two years your Fitbit may be replaced by a patch, much like a sticker, tracking your health metrics.
Your GP surgery can be connected to an artificial intelligence (AI) app, and you will only need to see your primary care physician if the answer cannot be provided by the app – the app is 95% accurate. You will be able to make video calls to doctors from anywhere in the world, your voice-activated in-home device will give daily, personalised health tips and can order your prescription with a voice command. Amazon Echo or Google Home will provide a myriad of useful services – the ability for carers to ‘check in’ to make sure your loved one is safe, a ‘falls service’ for the elderly – all based on voice commands and AI.
One in ten Britons already owns or uses a connected health device (wearables, smartphone apps, etc.). However, among internet-connected people in China and India, usage is even higher. Thanks to lower regulatory constraints (for now), these countries are leapfrogging established markets in using technology for health. In China, healthcare app Ping An Good Doctor provides medical consultation and treatment, and allows users to consult doctors through text, pictures, and video. It also contains healthcare-related articles, a forum for healthcare topics, and an online store that sells healthcare products. This provides 250,000 consults a day and has a user-base
of 77 million users.
With healthcare services around the world under increasing cost pressure, a connected health future may be sooner than we
think, if only because of increased productivity.