4 observations on the future of healthtech.

Adrian Blackwood
Spatialist
Published in
4 min readSep 12, 2022

a current perspective on combining technology & health.

At home, at the office, or anywhere — healthtech is full of innovations to come.

Introduction

We’ve seen a lot of innovation in healthcare technology over the past decade. This has been driven by data, which allows us to gain insights into how people are living, what they’re doing and how we can help them. The challenge is that we often focus on the user interface when designing and building products for patients and doctors alike. We believe that there’s a lot more room for health-tech companies to innovate beyond simply putting an app or website in front of people’s faces — especially since the interfaces will continue to evolve over time anyway!

Go beyond the interface

  • Sensors will be the driving force behind healthtech, and get to true future care.
  • Sensors will be the force behind true future care, information is key.
  • Integrating sensors into technology, healthcare, and daily living is a great way to get started, understanding individual behaviors.
  • The home is another obvious place for sensors to make an impact on your life — and the lives of those around you! Your home can help heal you.

1.) Beyond telemedicine > with sensors

Telemedicine is already helping people monitor and manage their health. But what about with sensors? The future of healthtech looks beyond telemedicine, to an era where you can get more data about yourself, use this information to improve your health and share that data with doctors so they can help you better.

Imagine a world where each person has a sensor embedded in their clothing or skin that can detect changes in their heart rate and blood pressure. They could then transmit this information to their doctor via a smartphone app — or even directly through the internet — so they can receive personalized care tailored to them specifically.

2.) Integrated specializations

Integrated specializations are a key part of the future of healthtech. Specialized care access will become more common, but integrated into the standard care plan, with technology specializations will be the future normal.

An example of integrated specialization is a patient with diabetes, who may require multiple types of treatment and support, can interact with a primary physician, and be supported remotely, or virtually by specialists, potentially including a dietician, psychologist, and endocrinologist.

3.) At-home kits

As the field of healthtech continues to evolve, one area that will see significant changes in at-home kits. You may have seen these kits in your local pharmacy. They’re small boxes with all the supplies you need to take a blood sample: lancets, test tubes, and more. All you have to do is prick your finger with a tiny needle (or prick someone else’s) and put it into the tube for testing.

At-home kits like this give people instant access to medical information about themselves — something that was not possible before now. This could be invaluable for people who are worried about certain conditions or want confirmation of what doctors suspect. It also means fewer trips to the hospital or doctor’s office, which can save both time and money on healthcare costs overall.

In addition, many patients are uncomfortable visiting hospitals due to their anxiety levels around needles or other factors such as busy schedules preventing them from making appointments during regular business hours at clinics near where they live; therefore being able to collect samples without leaving their homes could be very beneficial overall

4.) Prediction

A prediction is a powerful tool, but it is not the end goal. Better health, quick diagnosis, and more personal care plans are all better goals. The future of health tech is more about prevention than prediction currently, and that will change. AI, AMI, data-based solutions, visual, virtual……there are many ways to get to the same place, but ultimately prediction opens up a world of digital health interaction we simply don't see yet.

Some of these include:

  • Prevention through education: A BETTER UNDERSTAND OF YOURSELF IS THE BEST HEALTH TOOL.
  • Prediction through technology helps people take care of themselves, showing instant results and potential paths forward using sensors plus interface. (e.g., Fitbit + Apple Watch)
  • Prevention through early detection prediction using specialized sensors. AI understanding of sensor data.(e.g., Google DeepMind’s work with radiologists)

Conclusion

Healthtech is still in its infancy, but we’ve seen a lot of progress in the past years. With an influx of video telemedicine startups, and a few successfully combining this plus primary care, expect to see more hybrid offers, a stronger reliance, and patient expectation on improved tech within the healthtech experience.

With the right minds and resources, we can capitalize on advances that will make health care accessible to everyone. As healthtech continues to grow and evolve, it’s important for us not only as users but also as developers and designers: to keep an eye out for new developments and how they might impact your product or service!

Let’s explore and build this next internet together, but also for everyones sake.

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Adrian Blackwood
Spatialist

Adrian explores the future of reality through four exciting areas: Applied Ai, Spatial Reality, health-tech, and Ambient Intelligence.