Sensor technologies and virtual reality are key to transforming
29 January 2015
Technological advances in the medical sector will start to drive
the most active and rapid progression health systems have ever seen
over the next few years, according to Plextec Consulting.
Moving away from the typical ‘doctor–patient’ model, the
company predicts that the next five years will witness the health
service become increasingly more open to portable, easy-to-use and
low-cost systems, that empower patients to self-monitor, prescribe
and resolve medical problems to ease the burden on over-stretched GP
surgeries, A&E departments and hospitals across the UK.
Analysts predict the sensor market in consumer healthcare is
expected to reach $47.40 billion by 2020 and will bring real value
to the medical industry in terms of potentially enabling more
patients to be screened and treated in the community, with
post-operative patients returning home just 48 hours after major
surgery. However, this mass introduction of sensor technology needs
a major education programme to help speed adoption by consumers and
enable the rapid movement of the market.
Collette Johnson, Business Manager Medical at Plextek Consulting
commented, "To realise innovative care models and make our vision a
technical and commercial reality, emerging start-ups, manufacturers,
retailers and healthcare professionals must all work together to
ensure innovative devices and revolutionary medical systems make the
step from concept to reality.
"Sensor technology will revolutionise the future of our health
for the better, and with the correct education of users of the
system and intelligent interpretation of the data collected in areas
such as dementia and hydration monitoring, it can change the way we
deliver healthcare. Consumers must embrace this technology, start
using it and be in control of their health."
In virtual reality there is already a perception shift in the
medical industry with VR systems helping rehabilitate and train
patients and industry professionals, with the medical simulation
market estimated to be worth $1.9 billion by 2017. Further
innovation in VR will lead to the development of systems to help
patients overcome traumatic situations or rehabilitate their body;
unite the family by providing a greater understanding of how loved
ones are being affected by their particular health issue eg
schizophrenia; and open up VR as an effective distraction technique
for subduing pain.
To elaborate on how pioneering technologies in sensor
applications and virtual reality systems will enhance healthcare
delivery within the next five years Collette Johnson has authored a
vision paper "Patient of the Future: 2020” drawing on more than a
decade’s knowledge and experience of the NHS and working with
breakthrough medical start-ups. This paper can be downloaded
Source: Plextek Consulting