Healthcare is all set to be democratised and pave the way for accessibility, according to Reenita Das, Healthcare and Life Sciences Partner, Senior Vice President, and the first woman Partner at Frost and Sullivan. Das, who drives the global research vision and strategy for the firm alongside commercial opportunities within the healthcare practice, has been leading a project on what healthcare would look like in the year 2050 and she says it is promising, to say the least.
“By 2050, we are going to see a world where it is going to be commoditised, democratised, and consumerised,” she says.
Addressing the current challenges in the industry, she says that professionals in healthcare need to focus on the keywords ‘precision medicine’ and ‘precision diagnostics’ and explore strategies to implement them.
“We do not practice healthcare, but work on what we call sick care, in my view. There are several tools and technologies that are at play to help us move the dial from sick care to healthcare and make it a more precise, accurate industry. Over the last few years, I have been working on what healthcare will look like in 2050 and advising clients across the world in terms of what they need to be doing to get there. Today, healthcare is not democratised and access to healthcare is a big issue. It is far from being consumerised. Although with COVID, we saw some traces of consumerism coming in terms of virtual care, it is not commoditised,” she highlights.
So, what is the world of healthcare going to look like by 2050? Das says that microchips implanted in the body or brain and connected to an application would wake individuals up, replacing the need for alarm clocks.
“And as you wake up, you would have the automation to start the coffee machine, catch the news of the day, and view your calendar and appointments all displayed on a screen in front of your bed. These may be possible through the implant, which may be ocular or neurological,” adds Das.
Personalised healthcare in the future
Das predicts that mobile phone would no longer be used to support point-of-care testing. Instead, a full-body MRI machine installed in the shower would collect all the data for the day that you need to track your vitals. The toilet will act as a smart device to analyse waste material almost instantaneously. These data would be collected on a holistic level and fed into a holographic dashboard displayed on a smart glass mirror placed in the bathroom. The data can also be seamlessly shared with the individual’s dedicated care providers.
This eliminates the need for individuals to visit a hospital facility or wait for results from a laboratory. “We do not have to drive, park and waste time; everything is going to be seamless. We are going to receive information proactively and artificial intelligence is going to examine that by analysing our genomics with the results and then provide us with advice. This is where we are heading today. We may not see this happening right now, but there are pockets of technology that are being collected and will enable us to receive care anywhere, any place, and at any given time,” she says.
At night when an individual goes to sleep, their oxygen level and tiredness would be captured. Their sleep will be programmed, and as the individual look at their VR headset, they would go into meditation and fall asleep.
“This is going to be the world of healthcare in the future. The question for all those active in the industry, namely those who work in the laboratory as well as innovative tech and product development, is: what do you want to do in this new world in the next 30 years? Do you want to be leading it? Or do you want to sit back and wait for these things to happen to us?”
Das urges healthcare investors and providers to take initiative, collaborate and continue to foster ideas and concepts to reel the new era of healthcare.