What does the future of Healthcare look like?
What Problems are there now?
Brief overview of the past and present
Over the last 5 decades, the population of the world has more than doubled. By 2050 the population is expected to reach not far short of 10 billion people on Earth. In the UK, the population is expected to reach 75 million by this time putting ever more pressure on the healthcare industry. The NHS was set up over 60 years ago with a system that hasn’t changed majorly over a decade. Unlike other industries, the healthcare industry in the UK relies on heavily out-dated technology and is in need of desperate change.
What is coming?
However despite all this negativity, with change will come great progress in many areas that previously might not have even been thought about. The main drawback to the Healthcare Industry today is how it is treated as such. A patient is simply the same as any other, in the same category and place in line all grouped into different GPs. Every patient is completely unaware of their self until they are seen at their point in line and only then can an urgent situation be escalated.
What difference does this make?
This could all be greatly improved. Within the next 10 years, along with almost everything in the consumer industry, you will be able to see everything you need to know via an app or online. Being self-aware could be the next huge step in controlling your own health. Being told you have an illness or told that something is unhealthy not a solution. Patients could see what they need to do to improve their well-being at any point and track their progress. This could all be linked back to a local GP who can keep up to date records of each patient and have the ability to choose those who most urgently need care very quickly all through the same system. This would mean 24/7 care for everyone and the ability to see someone as soon as you become in a more serious condition. Instead of going to a GP thinking you have a serious issue to then be told its nothing to worry about and using up time for someone that might need it more (or vice versa), you can see everything you need to know from home or on a device.
Even Further Into The Future
What We Could See In The Next 30 Years.
24/7 up to date Healthcare is only scratching the surface of what could be possible. With every year comes more advanced and efficient ways to deal with health issues. Robots, Nanotechnology and Stem Cell Therapy all sound like parts of a sci-fi future, however that couldn’t be more wrong. These technologies could be implemented easily within the next 10-20 years if research and progress carries on at the rate that it has been. Robots are already used in the military and other industries where pin-point precision is needed, it isn’t a stretch to think this could be coming to healthcare sooner than we think. Nanotechnologies and Stem Cell treatments are also being researched more heavily than ever with potential to vastly improve the quality and longevity of life.
Adding It All Together
To put these all into a system of instant care for those who need it would mean an extreme difference in productivity in hospitals with surgery’s that could have taken hours could be solved in half the time or treatments that are currently impossible could now be done. Coupled with a time management system through algorithms and data tracking rather than current log books and excel spreads will also bring a far superior flow in healthcare. Putting all these together in an engaging yet easy way for everyone is what will be key to achieving a great future in the Healthcare industry and this is where design plays its biggest role in all this. And where we stand ready for these opportunities the future holds.