Health Predictions: the future of healthcare (ISCF – Ageing Society)

In the latest of our Predictions series, we take a look at what the future of healthcare will look like.

Could artificial intelligence and smart technology improve every stage of our lives?

We look at how the future of healthcare will affect us from birth including wearable tech and the internet of things to capturing baseline health data we can use to monitor our health as we grow older.

£300 million for landmark ageing society grand challenge

10 million Brits alive today can expect to reach 100 and funding will ensure the UK leads the world in healthy ageing.

As part of the government’s plan to build a Britain fit for the future, £300 million will go towards developing the innovations and new technologies of tomorrow.

From womb to tomb

Health scanning and data will become ever-present in our lives – even from the very start of life. Before birth, scanning will take place in the womb which will create a basic profile of a person’s health and create treatment plans from the very start. Predisposition to certain diseases or disorders will be recognised, and a way to live a healthy life based around this will be created for people to follow throughout their day-to-day lives.

During everyday life, as they grow and age, people will be constantly monitored and have data fed back to update their health records – driven through innovation in wearable technology and the Internet of Things. This data will be used to create a baseline set of data for when we are healthy, and then alert us should an illness or poor health be spotted due to a change in this information – allowing illness to be caught early; and perhaps even reminding us should we be living an unhealthy lifestyle.

But what will happen when we do eventually fall ill?

A trip to the doctors

Going to the doctors will be radically different. Medical scanning will be efficient and simple – with a full body scan akin to walking through an x-ray machine at the airport, or even a breath sample will be enough to detect illnesses. These advancements and automation will free up a doctor’s time to focus on where it is needed most.

Using the data collected from the patient’s everyday life, and then comparing it to more in-depth scans from check-ups will allow much-improved analysis and monitoring, and will be especially effective against chronic diseases like diabetes and tracking the progression of dementia.

If a health issue is spotted it is at this point a doctor could be alerted, or the patient could be prescribed a bespoke medicine based on their healthcare records and developed by AI, which is then 3D printed at the patient’s bedside as a single pill.

Even a trip to the hospital will be more automated. Robots will be used to carry out more physical tasks such as moving patients around or creating sterile environments, discreet wireless sensors will allow instant notifications of change, while algorithms and AI will be used to diagnose and treat patients.

These innovations will allow doctors and nurses to be freed up to do the more human parts of the work and spend more time with patients one-on-one.

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