ID Medical reveals its key predictions for what the digital future of healthcare will look like
Health services in 10 years will be almost unrecognisable from those of today, being largely digitally driven
Almost every aspect of modern life has been radically reshaped by technology – and healthcare is no exception.
Technology is continually opening up new possibilities for prevention, care, and treatment.
But how will technology transform the future of healthcare over the coming years?
With technology advancing every day, it is very likely that the future of healthcare will be largely reliant on digital automation and robotics
Following the launch, last year, of the NHS Long-Term Plan; ID Medical has researched key predictions on the ways in which technology will change the way we access healthcare moving forward.
And the results show that healthcare plans will becoming much more personalised to an individual’s DNA; and artificial intelligence (AI) is set to play a major role.
Here, we take a look at ID Medical’s timeline for the healthcare digital revolution.
Digital apps will be available to support mental health conditions.
This year a number of technologies that deliver digitally-enabled models of therapy for depression and anxiety disorders will be used in IAPT services across the NHS. This will later expand to include other models of delivery, such as virtual and augmented reality.
In 2021/22, people will have access to their care plan and communications for care professionals via the NHS App, which will enable them to manage their own health needs or will direct them to the most-appropriate service.
If needed, they will be connected with local services to get an appointment with an urgent treatment centre, or be prescribed medicine to be collected from their nearest pharmacy.
By 2022 technology will give clinicians easy access to referral templates and ‘one click away’ specialist advice and guidance for GPs, which will avoid many patients requiring an appointment.
Triaging some specialist referrals with photos and questionnaires will allow some patients to have entirely-virtual assessments.
By 2023 diagnostic imaging networks will enable the rapid transfer of clinical images from care settings close to the patient to the relevant specialist clinician.
This will help improve timely image reporting, as well as create a large clinical data bank to fuel research and innovation.
Medical professionals in the future will have to learn a range of new skills, including how to operate technology and how to effectively deliver virtual appointments, diagnoses and treatment procedures
In 2024 the whole country will be able to access maternity records digitally.
Additionally, a digital version of the ‘red book’ will help parents record and use information about their child, including immunisation and growth records.
This will help children to start life with a digital personal health record that they can build throughout their lives.
Healthcare will become personalised to an individual’s DNA.
Blood samples will be taken at birth and analysed to identify the health issues in a person’s DNA which they may be predisposed to.
A personalised ‘healthcare roadmap. Can then be created details the custom vaccines, gene therapies, and surgeries they may need over the next 20-50 years to avoid serious health complications.
2025 will also see more data being collected by wearable and implantable health monitoring devices. For example, analysing gut bacteria will enable dieticians to tailor diet plans that better fit a person’s unique DNA and metabolism.
Online medical consultations will be increasingly used to deliver care services
Moving forward a decade, ID Medical’s research predicts that, by 2030, artificial intelligence (AI) will be routinely used to support diagnoses; wearable monitoring devices will enable more care services to be delivered in people’s homes; digitally-enabled online consultations will be readily available with GPs and hospital specialists; and emerging intuitive tools will help to further reduce the administrative burden and collect a rich bank of patient data.
While technology will feature heavily in healthcare of the future, medical professionals will remain key in delivering care and will play a major role in treating patients who cannot, or do not want to, access the technology in place
By 2040, it is thought drones will be used to provide emergency treatment, being sent out ahead of ambulances to provide on-the-scene care while paramedics are en route.
These ‘quadcopters’ will offer faster response times by avoiding traffic and being able to reach even the most-remote desinations.
An ID Medical spokesman said: “With technology advancing every day, it is very likely that the future of healthcare will be largely reliant on digital automation and robotics.
”Medical professionals in the future will have to learn a range of new skills, including how to operate this technology and how to effectively deliver virtual appointments, diagnoses and treatment procedures.
“They will also have to learn how to interpret data from patients’ wearable devices, digital records and genome and DNA data to make diagnoses, supported by AI technologies in order to increase efficiency.”
But he added: “While technology will feature heavily in healthcare of the future, medical professionals will remain key in delivering care and will play a major role in treating patients who cannot, or do not want to, access the technology in place.