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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).
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20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Happy New Year to you, Berci!

    You make many great points, probably too many to comment on individually and at length.

    Among the many excellent observations you make, one thing you alight upon has also been on my mind mind, namely: medical applications within Android. Android recently introduced a ‘Health’ option into the official Market, the appearance of which has foregrounded what a dreadful mess application search is in for Android.

    As a consequence, whilst there are many useful tools and evidence-based resources hidden away among the cranky diets and medical marijuana, they are almost impossible to find among the deluge of apps unless you already know what they are called.

    Whilst content packagers such as Unbound Medicine and Skyscape are doing a good job on behalf of the scholarly publishers who are seemingly incapable of developing these competencies themselves, some of the prices being asked are probably too handsome for digital artefacts to bear.

    A product that is both difficult to find and perceived as being too expensive is unlikely to fare well, regardless of how good it is. It is therefore not surprising that the Market stats indicate that the majority of the professional-facing Android health apps have had ‘<50 downloads'. Bearing in mind the sort of growth Android is enjoying, something clearly has to be done on both counts if health apps are to thrive on this platform.

    @andrewspong

    January 4, 2011
  2. Thank you, Andrew, for the feedback! You are absolutely right, I checked the Medical category of the Android Market and it’s a real mess. I hope they come up with a normal solution soon.

    January 4, 2011
  3. János Penzes #

    Happy new year, Berci!
    Great set of predictions, nice read!
    I am particularly looking forward to the initiation you mention in point5; and point14 becoming reality! Regarding (android) apps I tend to hope that the apps will be more important than the different operating systems. If an app is worth to use, I don’t see why would any developer restrict it to one platform only. So I’d guess android would catch up with or equal iOS.
    Wish you all the best for 2011!
    János

    January 4, 2011
  4. Thank you, János, for your comment! Yes, point No. 5 is far the most important in the list (I’ll try to help this point become reality).

    Happy new year!

    Berci

    January 4, 2011
  5. Fantastic list Bertalan. I particularly like and hope to be an enabler of #2, 5 and especially 12.

    January 4, 2011
  6. Very insightful predictions Berci!

    2) Curation -> will there be a market for RSS-feed experts, offering you a tailorfit newsoffer?
    4) Mhealth will be a entire ecosystem (identification, payment, location, monitoring, etc.). Lots of apps will try to ‘plug in’ to EHR’s, which will leverage their usefulness enormously. Question here is: “Can mobile operators cope with the sudden increase in 3G/4G data usage?”.
    6) The importance of ‘voice’: i fully agree. But don’t underestimate the imortance of interface design (simplicity – i like the term ‘fisher price design’)
    12) Will we also see patients that are so empowered that they will be doing live reporting from the hospital? Or broadcast an ‘investigation’ in realtime?
    14) SoMe presence in pharma … but also in care-institutions. Mainly deployed for recruitment purposes, painting a pleasant SoMe environment.

    If i may add 2:
    explosion of tech for boomers
    data-mining of health data

    Looking forward to evaluate your predictions by the end of 2011.
    Keep going strong!

    January 5, 2011
    • Thank you very much, Bart, for the additions! I don’t there is a need at all for RSS-feed experts. Instead, we, providers, have to make this process as simple for users as possible.

      January 6, 2011
  7. I have my set of prediction focusing on technology (http://architecture-soa-bpm-eai.blogspot.com/2010/12/predictions-for-next-decade-2011-20.html)

    January 5, 2011
  8. Hi Berci,

    What a joyful informative read :-)

    Especially I like number 14. Stop the Hype, and only create Social Media presence if it is of value. And remember that systemised listening is 80% of the job! Listen before you eventually talk.

    br,
    Lars

    January 5, 2011
    • Exactly, Lars, I’m glad you mentioned this. I know sometimes I did overhype things a bit in the past, but now I’m more cautious with that that’s why I added the last point.

      January 6, 2011
  9. The application of force feedback (haptics) to virtual objects sounds great, but I couldn’t find any specific reference to it on the MMVR17 website you cited. Are there any specific projects that caught your eye?
    I’ve been thinking of writing something on this subject, but the only experts I’ve spoken to so far are at the ‘Magic Vision’ augmented reality lab in Adelaide (South Australia):
    http://www.magicvisionlab.com/projects/vhar

    January 10, 2011
  10. I just hope everybody will healthy in 2011 and for the incomming years. Be healthy is very important

    January 14, 2011
  11. The actual ATP energy as universal monetary function like the financial engineering being maintained. Also the AMS supported the thermodynamics quality. http://kr.blog.yahoo.com/lccobok/1051

    June 10, 2011

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