People that know me know that I’m always thinking and talking about the future of healthcare and what it may look like.
The thing that excites me about technology and innovation is how whole industries have been completely disrupted in recent times.
The internet has put dozens of companies out of business. Amazon for example has been blamed for eating into Waterstones sales of books. Uber is completely disrupting taxi services on a worldwide scale. Online news outlets such as the Huffington Post have been blamed for the recent demise of The Independent physical newspaper in the UK. The list is really endless.
But how about healthcare? Could certain technologies disrupt the whole system as it is?
My father leant medicine in 1960’s Calcutta. I find it hilarious that what he did as a Junior doctor in the 60’s and 70’s is largely the same as what I do as a Junior Doctor in 2016! When we talk about medicine we talk about exactly the same experiences as one another and the same ways of diagnosing and managing patients.
Medicine is arguably one of the most important fields in the world to be working in and yet it seems to be progressing at a snails pace when compared to many other industries.
There are certain people in England that have the vision to see what the future of medicine is going to be like. I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Professor Tony Young in Chelmsford, Essex recently. He is the NHS lead for Innovation and is also in charge of the Clinical Entrepreneurship programme for the NHS (which encourages innovation and the application of novel technologies to improve patient care).
Me looking very happy at the lecture!
I have been a massive fan of Professor Young’s for a while now – often reading his twitter feed on lunch breaks and watching his YouTube videos after work. His talks and lectures simply resonate with me and I find it a breath of fresh air to hear someone talk about innovations that can really disrupt how we do things and bring technologies to the fore that are going to change the world forever!
His lecture blew my mind, because there’s so much cool stuff out there already! Software that can detect if your heart failure has gotten worse just by hearing your voice on your phone! Technology that looks at blood test results already available on any hospital computer server and can predict the likelihood of colorectal cancer (and has been shown to be far more accurate than the faecal occult blood test currently used for screening in the UK)! How about a piece of software that looks at CT scan results and looks at bone density to diagnose osteoporosis and prevent fractured neck of femurs!!!!! This is cool stuff which is already available! Why are we not using this stuff??!
Me (looking shiny for some reason) and The Man himself – Professor Tony Young!
Anyone that doesn’t see that healthcare is going to be massively disrupted in this age of exponential innovation is mad. Unfortunately in my anecdotal experience it is the doctors and other allied healthcare professionals that are the ones that do not see this. The public are crying out for this stuff. Like it or not things will change and I for one am glad because as the Prof pointed out – even the doctors bag has hardly changed in over a hundred years!! It’s time for a change!