Bionicly came up with a list of influencers and thought leaders who, they think, will shape digital health in the year 2015. It’s a real honor to get into such a list with KevinMD.com, Susannah Fox or Eric Topol and others!
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It was an extraordinary year for technological improvements in medicine & healthcare. Wearable devices measuring our vital signs at home; the 3D printing revolution producing prosthetics and biomaterials; exoskeletons getting FDA approval; brain-to-brain interfaces; artificial intelligence becoming widely available and many more as described in my book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine.
There are a lot of reasons to look forward to the year 2015, therefore let’s see the top trends and technologies that will shape the year 2015 in medicine and healthcare!
Organ-on-a-chip technique that can mimic the physiology of human organs might be available in the year 2015 which mean that we might soon be able to create the first virtual model of the human body making it possible to run drug tests on billions of patient models in seconds with supercomputers. Keep an eye on: Wyss Institute of Harvard
In the coming year, digital tattoos as thin as two micrometers might become available making it the ultimate sensor. So I don’t have to use all these gadgets around myself to measure my health data but with one very thin digital tattoo I could measure whatever I would like to measure. Keep an eye on: Takao Someya
Well, while the year of 2014 was the year of the wearable health trackers, 2015 will be the year of smart clothes. T-shirts and trousers which will be able to measure our health parameters in the most convenient way. Keep an eye on: Hexoskin.
The first medical tricorders will come to the market due to the Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize and Nokia Sensing XChallenges. These will produce little devices that by scanning the body would come up with a few simple diagnostic options or measure any kind of vital signs at once. Keep an eye on: DMI.
IBM supercomputer named Watson as a cognitive computer will be used in more and more medical practices worldwide and more and more hospitals will buy that as an actual asset to the medical decision making process. Keep an eye on: IBM Watson.
Blood tests will be revolutionized by making them available with just one droplet of blood at first Walmarts around the US. Keep an eye on: Theranos.
Food scanning is coming at home and we will be able to finally know what ingredients our food contains by using spectroscopy. Keep an eye on: Tellspec.
Augmented reality will move away from Google Glass more towards the first digital contact lenses that can measure blood glucose levels from tears as an added benefit. Keep an eye on: bionic contact lenses.
The first 3D printed biomaterials will become mainstream as this year, the first liver tissues printed out in 3D will be used by pharmaceutical companies maybe making animal testing unnecessary. Keep an eye on: Organovo.
Direct-to-consumer companies in genomics will deal with the challenges FDA will come up with and we will move towards very cheap whole genome sequencing. Although the cost will not be zero next year, but we will get closer to my prediction that the shipping cost of the sample will be higher than actually sequencing the genome. Keep an eye on: Gentle.
In areas with doctor shortages, telemedicine will be used at its best. Moreover, the first force-feedback gloves will come to the market making it possible to even feel the handshake form a distance, even from continents away while discussing medical issues through telemedical applications. Keep an eye on: InTouch Health.
Prosthetics will become more sophisticated and much much cheaper due to the 3D printing revolution. There will be people who will want to replace their healthy limbs for state-of-the-art prosthetic ones. Keep an eye on: Touch Bionics.
And I think that the first brain-computer interfaces will be used in practice, plus we will more and more be able to measure our brain activities; and to learn how to be relaxed or how to be focused at home. Keep an eye on: Muse and PIP.
Besides these, privacy and security issues will rule the year as well as an effort to get good mobile health applications and digital services reimbursed by insurers. We will see.
Here are some more lists.
Here are the most important and interesting news and announcements about the future of healthcare & medicine in 2014 month by month. I hope you will enjoy looking back in time.
- 20 Predictions in Medicine And Healthcare for 2014: From DIY Biotech to Mind-Controlled Exoskeletons
- Report On The Future Of Wearable Technologies
- The Era of the $1000 USD Genome? Not Yet!
- The Relation Between The Human Touch and Medical Technology: AND Instead of OR
- Disruptive Technologies in Medicine: Preparing Medical Students For The Future!
- Wikipedia and/vs Pharma Industry
- Breastfeeding Mothers Getting Help From Google Glass?
- MD Anderson Cancer Center to Use IBM Watson
- 10 ways technology will save your life in the future
- Computers are better at diagnosing?
- Human Longevity Inc. Launches To Make Us Live Longer
- Exoskeleton For Paralyzed Patients Gets FDA Approval
- The First Bionic Olympics To Be Held in 2016
- How I Completely Re-Wired My Digital Life: 16 Tips
- Digital Contact Lens Will Let Us Turn The Page By Blinking
- Gentle Sequenced All My Genes
- Race Among Medical Devices and Doctors: Analysis
- When Surgeons Can See Tumours
- IBM’s Watson Supercomputer Becoming The Best Doctor?
- Amazon Opens Online Store for Wearable Technologies
- FDA Approvals For Wearable ECG Devices Now And Soon
- Why Have I Been Quantifying My Health For 17 Years?
- The Ethics of Neuroenhancement
- Virtual Humans Could Predict Treatment Outcome
- Suspended Animation: The Trial Begins
- Medical Specialties That Can Benefit from Google Glass
- FDA Clears Motorized Exoskeleton
- The Long-Tail of Wearable Health Trackers
- Monitoring Drivers’ Health With ECG-Sensing Car Seats
- A Fully Digital Hospital Opens in 2015
- Computer or Human Caregiver?
- Google And Novartis Tracking Diabetes With Smart Contact Lenses
- Are There Limits of 3D Printing in Healthcare?
- AliveCor Receives FDA Clearance to Detect Atrial Fibrillation
- The Most Connected Man: Video
- The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Let’s Prepare For The Future!
- Five Expectations For Physicians About The Future of Medicine
- Here Is The Bionic Man
- 10 Promising Technologies Assisting the Future of Medicine
- Books About The Future of Medicine
- Five Expectations For Patients About The Future of Medicine
- Mayo Clinic Chiefs Name E-Patient Dave as 2015 Visiting Professor
- The Real Cyborgs
- From mind-controlled prosthetics to engineering human health
- Why And How Healthcare Institutions Should Prepare For IBM Watson
- Microrobots Swim Through Bodily Fluids
- How to keep your job in the coming waves of new technologies?
- How Robots Could Help Beat Ebola
- Ambulance drone delivers defibrillator
- IBM Watson is the Stethoscope of the 21st Century
- Top 10 Science Fiction Movies About the Future of Medicine
- Fitness Band Named Best Christmas Gift in Sweden
- Organovo Will Soon 3D Bioprint Organs
- Top 5 Wearable Trackers And Handheld Devices Measuring How And What You Eat
As a science fiction movie geek, I collected those 10 movies that give a good picture about what we can expect to see in the next years in the future of medicine.
Please share your favorite ones and read more about such movies in “The Guide to the Future of Medicine“.
Here are the movies described in the video:
A lot of medical professionals are worrying about their jobs whether they lose it in the near future due to the coming waves of new technologies. Many of them think they will get replaced by robots and algorithms. My theory about the future focuses on the balance between using disruptive technologies and keeping the human touch. It means we do need to interact with people, although robots and algorithms could perform much better than humans in many areas. But why not combining both?
One of the major obstacles is physicians being resistant to the adoption of new technologies because they are afraid. I think they should not be. Here is how to make sure you will keep your job in the future whether you work in medicine or not.
1) Be a master of information management: Being up-to-date and getting access to the right information at the right time should be a master skill for all of us. Tackling the information pollution is going to be a basic skill but as long as it is not the case, it is going to be a career advantage. You should be perfectly up-to-date in your fields of interest from now on. It requires some efforts but it’s not rocket science.
2) Know more than your decision makers: Having a better knowledge about ongoing and upcoming trends than those making decisions above or for us will be the key in thinking ahead. You should possess all the potentially useful details and pieces of information that allow you to make a step faster than them.
3) Have a new kind of skill set: In different positions before, it was enough to be good at one thing or two, but in the coming era of inter-connected devices, experts and solutions, a network-based approach is very much needed. This new skill set should include digital literacy; advanced problem solving; project management and perfect communication skills on- and offline whatever position you are working in. If you think it’s enough to be good at one thing, you already lost.
4) Exploit the advantages of being human: There might be an algorithm that once will diagnose with a better success rate than people, but there is a range of reasons why the human touch will always be inevitable and crucial. Make sure to bring those skills to the fore that truly leverage the power of the human connection.
5) Improve constantly mentally and physically: Being human in the future will not automatically represent an advantage. This is why we have to constantly improve our cognitive skills, learn new things and keep ourselves sharp. Wearable devices from activity to sleep trackers; and online services such as Lumosity.com or Focusatwill.com could facilitate that.
6) Prepare for future technologies: Do you have all the required knowledge and skills that let you make your own assumptions about the future? You should know about all the trends and technologies that could assist you in your life or job and be able to fast make informed decisions accurately. It does require preparation from now on. Right now, nobody is ready for what is coming next. But soon we all should be.
7) Automate that can be automated: Making tasks and processes around us automated doesn’t mean we become less human. Contrarily, removing inefficient and unnecessary elements of our daily routine gives us a chance to show why being human will always mean something special and will always be an advantage. If we cannot prove that, we deserve to be replaced.
The battle has only begun and we have a lot to do. But if we stick to these rules, it is going to be hard to replace us. Game on.
I see enormous technological changes heading our way. If they hit us unprepared, which we are now, they will wash away the medical system we know and leave it a purely technology–based service without personal interaction. Such a complicated system should not be washed away. Rather, it should be consciously and purposefully redesigned piece by piece. If we are unprepared for the future, then we lose this opportunity.
I wrote a book “The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Technology AND The Human Touch” to prepare everyone for the coming waves of change, to be a guide for the future of medicine that anyone can use. It describes 22 trends and technologies that I think will shape the future.
Here are the real examples and practical stories about why these are leading the waves of change. Read the whole stories and more examples in the book.
- E-Patient Dave demonstrated what the relationship between patient and doctor should be like.
- PatientsLikeMe.com and smartpatients.com let patients discover each other and share stories.
- CrowdMed.com was designed to help patients crowdsource crucial information.
- By playing games on Lumosity.com, our memory, flexibility, attention, and focus can be improved.
- The Quantified Self movement has recently started to transform into the “Quantified Us” movement.
- The smartphone application “Zombies, Run!” requires the runner to pick up virtual supplies and escape from virtual zombie hordes making exercise more motivated.
- The Microsoft Kinect 3D sensor is able to monitor and analyze performance in real time, giving patients feedback as they exercise and complete assignments.
Eating in the future
- Foodini aims at printing out food using fresh ingredients. It can make ravioli, cookies, or crackers.
- The Cultured Beef project aims to make commercially available meat created by harvesting muscle cells from a living cow.
- TellSpec is a hand–held device designed to determine what macronutrients or specific ingredients the food contains.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
- Dr. Rafael Grossmann became the first surgeon to demonstrate the use of Google Glass during a live surgical procedure.
- Eyes–On™ Glasses uses imaging technology to find the location of the most suitable vein.
- Google is working on a multi–sensor contact lens that would work with Google Glass, other wearables, Android smartphones and even smart televisions.
- An autonomous remote–presence robot called RP–VITA is used in monitoring surgical patients before, during, and after their operations.
- In its 2014 e–health report Deloitte called e–visits the house calls of the 21st century.
- Video consultation is becoming a routine part of care offered by the Stanford Hospital & Clinics.
Re-thinking the Medical Curriculum
- The “Healing Blade” card game takes medical students into a world of sorcery and creatures where real–world knowledge of infectious diseases and therapeutics play a pivotal role in the winning strategy.
- At Radboud University Medical Center, they are currently working on a revolutionary new medical curriculum.
Surgical and humanoid robots
- In underdeveloped regions, surgical robots could be deployed so that operations are performed by surgeons who control the robots from thousands of kilometers away.
- The new version of the daVinci system, called Xi, was released by Intuitive Surgical in 2014.
- Medical drones could deliver supplies and drugs to conventionally unreachable areas.
- The shipping cost of our sample will be more expensive than the cost of actually sequencing our genome.
- In years, we will stop talking about personalized medicine as it will no longer be anything special.
- Oxford Nanopore released its MinION sequencer that can read short DNA fragments, exists on a USB drive sized device, and can perform the actual sequencing on a laptop.
- Using devices to measure numerous health parameters is not only possible in the ivory tower of medicine as 2014 is the year of the wearable revolution.
- The world’s lightest and thinnest flexible sensor system will produce stress–free wearable healthcare sensors.
- The smart bra has successfully been tested in over 500 breast cancer patients detecting the disease.
- The Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize promises to award $10 million to the first team to build a medical tricorder.
- An estimated 500 million smartphone users, including medical professionals, consumers, and patients, will be using a healthcare–related application by 2015.
- Physicians will prescribe a lot more applications than medications to their patients.
Growing orgains in labs
- Biomaterials such as liver tissue and skin have been successfully printed out.
- In 2014 scientists succeeded in regenerating a living organ, the thymus, which produces immune cells.
- Citizen scientists are changing the way research is performed.
- BioCurious, a hackerspace for biotech, opened with the mission statement that innovations in biology should be accessible, affordable, and open to everyone.
- Theranos develops a radical blood–testing service that requires only a pinprick and a drop of blood to perform hundreds of lab tests from standard cholesterol checks to sophisticated genetic analyses.
The 3D Printing Revolution
- Printing medical devices, living tissues, then eventually cells and pharmaceuticals might not be far away from everyday use.
- Lee Cronin, a chemist at the University of Glasgow, wants to do for the discovery and distribution of prescription drugs what Apple did for music.
- RoboHand has begun developing a low–cost printed leg prosthesis.
- Ekso Bionics designs and develops powered exoskeletons that could make walking possible again for paralyzed people.
- Bespoke Innovations went further in customization to make beautifully designed prosthetics based on the patient’s needs and personality.
Full Physiological Simulation
- Supercomputers could run analyses on thousands of drug targets on billions of patient models in silico.
- HumMod is a simulation system that provides a top–down model of human physiology from organs to hormones.
- The Wyss Institute and a team of collaborators seek to link ten human organs–on–chips to imitate whole–body physiology.
- Watson is perhaps the most important supercomputer, and one of the first to enter the artificial intelligence (AI) market in our time.
- Using 500 randomly selected patients for its simulations, the AI models cost $189 whereas treatment–as–usual cost $497.
- Tiny nanorobots in our bloodstream could detect diseases and send alerts to our smartphones or digital contact lenses before disease could develop in our body.
- The first DNA nanodevice that survived the body’s immune defense was created in 2014.
Hospitals of the Future
- NXT Health designed and funded a prototype of the future hospital rooms intended to reduce infections, falls, errors and ultimately costs.
- The Walnut Hill Medical Center in Dallas has been referred to as the Apple experience hospital due to its design and innovative nature.
- Japanese scientists could map one second’s worth of activity in the human brain with K computer, the fourth most powerful supercomputer in the world.
- Optogenetics shows the potential to provide new therapies for several medical conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, or depression.
- Dr. Kevin Warwick managed to control machines and communicate with others using only his thoughts with a cutting–edge neural implant.
The Rise of Recreational Cyborgs
- In 2016, Zurich, Switzerland will host the first championship sports event under the name Cybathlon for parathletes using high–tech prostheses, exoskeletons, and other robotic and assistive devices.
- Chris Dancy is usually referred to as the world’s most connected man. He has between 300 and 700 systems running and collecting real–time data about his life at any given time.
- A research performed in Pennsylvania in May, 2014 tested a new method of freezing gunshot victims while doctors tried to save their lives.
- The Cryonics Institute in Clinton Township, Michigan stores hundreds of cryopreserved people and animals along with DNA and tissue samples.
There are thousands of reasons why to look forward to the future of medicine!
It is an honor to be included in the “New Europe 100” list. I remain confident that the success of an innovation depends on good ideas and hard work, but not geographical regions.
Res Publica together with Google and the Visegrad Fund in cooperation with Financial Times and dozens of institutions from the region is launching the New Europe 100 project – a list of outstanding challengers from Central and Eastern Europe.
A few details about the lifestyle of the innovators.