By David Saunders | UPDATED: 05:28, 10 January 2020
In the last decade, healthcare has made huge strides and breakthroughs
In the period between 2010 and 2019, we have seen:
The first mind-controlled robotic arm that could experience the sensation of touch;
A Meningitis B vaccination for babies, with more than two million vaccinations being administered since 2015;
Experimental gene therapy was used to kill leukemia in a one year old patient who made a full recovery;
An innovative insulin pump provides Type 1 diabetics with back up insulin for the first time;
And close to the end of the decade, the Apple Watch Series 4 has seen the introduction of an ECG app that can help to diagnose atrial fibrillation.
After a busy decade in health, research and breakthroughs aren’t expected to slow down! At Treated.com, they’ve been looking into what the next decade could have in store for healthcare, and how we will all be affected.
In our ever-evolving digital world, connectivity will change the world of healthcare as we know it to be. Those living in rural parts of the country won’t need to travel to see a doctor – they’ll just need a device and an internet connection to get the help they need. To facilitate this, hospitals and surgeries will need an infrastructure upgrade to allow for facial recognition to check in, for example.
Wearable technology will be a part of this healthcare revolution, allowing the patient to manage their healthcare at all times, rather than just when they become ill. Healthcare profiles will be readily available on smart watches that will soon become commonplace, as they will be included in treatment plans. This direct link to healthcare professionals will free up GP visits.
Just as smart watches will become more readily available due to lowering price points, as will 3D printers, leading to their influence on the future of healthcare. These printers will be used in the next 10 years to create more comfortable prosthetic limbs, as well as printing organs like the pancreas for a smoother process for organ transplants.
In order to combat the issue of loneliness, particularly with the older generation, companion robots are set to become more popular in the UK. These robots will provide companionship, similar to a pet, but without the upkeep of bathing and feeding it. As well as alleviating the symptoms of loneliness, the robots will provide further connectivity to medical professionals.
The coming decade will see a stronger understanding of healthcare – rather than seeing it as a tool for when illness has already set in, we will focus on preventative measures and taking healthcare into our own hands. This can relate to weight management and quitting smoking, with medical professionals having a direct link to patients making lifestyle changes to manage their health.
By the end of the decade, asthma could be eradicated. A cure for the condition that affects as many as 5.4 million people in the UK is believed to be within reach, and respiratory problems will be monitored through smart devices in the near future.