Asked if he could only invest in one thing over the next five years, famed investor Fred Wilson answered few months ago, it would be health and wellness.
Changes in the healthcare industry are going to be dramatic. There is little room for doubt about that: technology is becoming cheaper, our world is becoming more connected, and a younger generation of healthcare workers is already embracing technology in new ways.
One of the transformative forces impacting healthcare is mobile health, or mHealth. More and more people use mobile-based services to get treatment through their phone, such as texting with doctors and nurses to get their prescriptions filled. And this is just the beginning: by 2017, 3.4 billion people worldwide will own a smartphone, and half of them will use health apps.
On the more cutting-edge end of mHealth is wearable technology. Thanks to wearable devices that can monitor and record personal health data, people can take control of their own wellness in unprecedented ways. According Gartner, 200 million people will use wearable devices to measure their heart rates by 2018.
The field of wearables is still an emerging one and it will literally catapult health and fitness into future. If you think the Apple Watch, with its heart rate monitor, and message notifications, is impressive, you haven’t seen anything yet. In the future, not only your smartwatch will instantly access your medical records, diet and training logs, but your biometric shirts will remind you to hydrate or straighten your posture.
Finally, take a look at this infographic from Pathfinder Software about sensors in healthcare.