What does the future hold?
A quick glance at the health tech market will immediately show us how fast this industry is growing.
Catalyzed by an exciting range of new, disruptive technologies, the health care industry needs to reimagine its future. In the next 10 years, we should not simply expect more targeted therapies, but practitioners will also be able to predict the likelihood of a patient being diagnosed with a disease or health condition, and shift from treatment of symptoms to prevention measures and complete cures, rather than providing temporary respite. In this new world, some conditions may become a thing of the past.
Predictive analytics is poised to reshape the health care industry by improving patient outcomes, quality of care and lower costs. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have the potential to identify severe medical conditions in health care data, the actuary is able to quickly uncover data with major implications for patient costs and health outcomes. Combining stem cell research with the latest advances in digital technology will allow us to access both historical and future data making it possible to identify, prevent and treat diseases more deliberately than ever before.
One of the big challenges of using stem cells as a therapy is coaxing them to grow into the specific type of tissue that is required. In the body this happens thanks to precise chemical and physical signals, not all of which are yet understood or characterised. Using chemicals to direct the fate of stem cells has worked in laboratories, but the outcomes are not always safe or predictable. To harness the potential of stem cells for biotherapeutic applications, we need to work at the size scale of molecules and processes that govern stem cells fate. Nanotechnology provides us with such capacity.
Stem-cell therapy could potentially cure diseases even in their late stages. Because stem cells can be coaxed into becoming any type of cell, they could be used to grow fresh cells for transplantation to replace those that have been lost. Researchers and device manufacturers can then design bionic body parts that mimic their natural function. Bioelectric implants are no longer a technology of the future. The bionics industry has grown along four major application areas: vision, hearing, orthopedics and a small, motley group of implants that augment cardiac and neurological functions. Despite some challenges, these market segments are teeming with device prototypes and as well commercialised products.