With articles about poor NHS performance dominating news headlines, Plextek Consulting argues that upcoming technological advances in the medical industry will start to drive the most active and rapid progression the UK health system has ever seen during 2015. 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 $47.40bn 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 (VR) Plextek Consulting is already seeing 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 e.g. 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 Plextek Consulting's 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 here.
Plextek Consulting is actively involved in the design of new products, systems and services in the medical sector helping device manufactures to innovate and take ideas from concept to market. The company has extensive experience integrating technologies for medical, health and well-being applications; enabling life changing systems for integration into the home setting to provide optimum patient benefits; and using its sensor expertise to enable suitable technology at the right value proposition for the market application.