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15 Predictions in Healthcare, Technology and Innovation for 2013


Just like last year, now it’s time to publish my predictions for the new year regarding healthcare, medical technology and innovation. It seems year by year many of these predictions prove to be right which makes me glad. I hope the same thing will happen to these predictions.

  • Flexible mobile phones will be released: Flexible glass makes such developments possible. Medical professionals will love these as they are literally unbreakable. The PC era is clearly over.


  • Fewer health-related mobile app downloads: Last year a decline in the number of downloaded smartphone apps was reported, but don’t worry, that’s a positive step. Now instead of downloading every medical app just to show them to our peers, we will use them with strategy and will make the right choices.
  • Google Glasses will hit the world market and healthcare: By bringing digital information and data in front of your eyes, it can have a bright future in everyday medicine either in the OR or during a regular examination.


  • Google+ communities will prove to be better than Facebook groups: Google+ Communities are relatively new, but I discovered more news items and posts which are relevant to my topics in the last few weeks than on Facebook during the last few years.
  • Robotic Exoskeletons will become widely used: It’s time to use all those military and robotic developments to help the everyday lives of paralyzed people in many ways.


  • First humanoid robots to be “born”: I’m not saying such humanoid robots would play any kind of a role in our lives now, but this certainly is going to be a very important step. Be prepared to see them in hospitals in the coming years.
  • FDA does not publish a clear guide about using social media by pharma: A year ago we published our crowdsourced and open-access guide for pharma but we do need the FDA to come out with a clear set of guidelines. Well, they won’t do that in 2013.
  • Windows tablets on the rise: I have an Android tablet, my friends use iPad and iPad Mini so I pretty much know all the pros and cons for these two systems, but when I tried Microsoft Surface, I was amazed. It definitely has a future in healthcare. Elder members in our family can learn how to use a tablet in days, even if they couldn’t learn how to use a computer for years.


  • Cost of whole genome sequencing goes under $1000: It is possible in many laboratories from Oxford to China to sequence a total human genome for less than $1000 in less than a few hours, but it should be widely available in 2013 as an affordable service.
  • Some smartphone apps get evidence based background: There are more and more studies focusing on whether certain smartphone apps and concepts can be used in medicine and healthcare, therefore as the amount of evidence grows, doctors should be able to prescribe mobile apps for their patients besides drugs and therapies.
  • Robotic telepresence in rural hospitals: When geographical distances cause a serious limitation, we need to turn to digital technologies, but using Skype cannot always be a solution. Robotic telemedical systems should appear in such areas in 2013.


  • LinkedIn gets close to Facebook and Google+: Regarding the professional use of social networks, LinkedIn is far more useful and efficient than Facebook and maybe better than Google+. Following the right moves and steps, I expect LinkedIn to become the most respected social network.
  • No hospital can live without social media accounts: This has been a clear trend for years, and now it’s time for every hospital manager to accept the challenge and the importance of using social networks to keep in touch with (future) patients.
  • IBM’s Watson in the medical practice. IBM’s supercomputer is being tested now at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and it should become an integrated part of medical decision making this year.
  • Health/medical businesses focus more on Twitter than on Facebook: This comes from my own experience. While Facebook ads can help you get your message to a lot of people, Twitter is more precise in communication. While it requires a different strategy, it can be more successful in conversion.

As usual, please feel free to add your tips in the comment section!


20 Comments Post a comment
  1. can’t wait for the future to come!!! it’s very exciting to see what we’ll be living in years from now… I too write about things that are coming out in the future, and flexible phones are on of the items I’m sure we’ll see… stay in touch!

    January 2, 2013
  2. Reblogged this on Framework 21.

    January 3, 2013
  3. Bold predictions Dr. Mesko. Very exciting stuff to come in the new realm of medicine.

    January 3, 2013
  4. Cryonica #

    You make 2013 sound very thrilling! I believe that in substance you are right. Perhaps I would say that humanoid robots continue to advance in labs rather than saying that they will be born in 2013. In a way much of them has already been developed and the development is on-going.

    January 6, 2013
  5. Telepresence looks right for the future though the sense of touch for determining swolleness and pain for example will most likely also advance medicine through mechanical type armiture. Great list!

    January 6, 2013
  6. Great predictions!
    One of the most important things that hospitals and health care workers should take part in social media. Especially medical students should use social media to collaboration, to build relationships and work together is medical research. That’s why Google communities are so good options.
    Google Glasses: I’d like to be an ophthalmologist, so go for it!

    January 8, 2013
    • Thank you, I’m very glad you liked these predictions! The only thing left is to wait and see which one will become reality.

      January 9, 2013
  7. Anonymous #

    shall I suggest to add this, as a potential tool to gather several experts around a patients (nurse, psy, specialist, nutritionist, family, friends, other patients…) (usefull also for doctors training).

    January 10, 2013
  8. No one really talks about the future of patient education. We now have over 450 animated topics that are FREE to the public. Soon, these animations will be released in 17 languages. I predict that the way we get medical and scientific content will be very different and people will not have to go to a website. Simply google the word then blausen it to see the animation. it is currently available on google chrome and safari from

    January 18, 2013
  9. Anonymous #

    Do you have any links to literature on smartphone apps that have gone through evidence based testing?


    June 17, 2013

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