The future of health technology:
There is a race going on to improve the life and longevity of people. A number of companies at the intersection of technology and bio sciences are building solutions to age-old health questions. This is an exponentially growing area with trillions of dollars waiting to be poured in. Why the sudden rush and what are the macro trends?
1. Medical records: This process is broken and fragmented. No one hospital or treatment facility has complete access to proper medical records of individual patient. This has resulted to wrong diagnoses and treatments. It is becoming important that patients own these records and provide online access to hospitals. If a patient is traveling and suddenly needs access to medical records, the availability of those records may be a deciding point for proper treatment. Companies are building businesses around this opportunity.
2. Human hacking: Our body is ready to be hacked…by us. We are now more empowered than any other time in history to understand our body more. If something goes wrong in our human machine, we will like to understand ourselves rather than completely relying on the expert doctors like before. This has generated opportunity for tools that can diagnose a number of diseases at the comfort of our home. We are also seeing companies building tools that can monitor changes in blood chemical, hormones and other patterns (like biome) in our body from our home so that we can more accurately predict where we are heading and take necessary measures in time.
3. Activity tracking: Sports related tracking like measuring heart beats or blood pressure has been around for a while. But we have not been using the data generated from these activities. There are also scopes to improve the range of data collected during these activities. Companies are building tools to gather more data in a non-invasive way and use these data to track internal changes.
4. Genome: Understanding DNA and mapping it is becoming cheaper at every passing days. This is opening up a huge possibiliy for more precision medicine to treat individual patients. Understanding the history of our parents and forefathers are now enabling companies to build a more accurate science around diseases and cures.
6. Data mining: With all the tools in place, we are now generating an astonishing amount of data everyday. Making sense of these data is crucial. Big data and data analyses has progressed significantly to understand and build a pattern.
7. Policy change: The recent policy changes by Obama administration has opened up a purse which will shower trillions of dollars in the coming years in healthcare. This covers areas like medical records, care giving and basic medical support, precision medicine etc.. Entrepreneurs are rushing in to build products and position their companies to take advantage of this opportunity.