Today, hospitals are cornerstones of communities, often the first, most central and largest structures included in city planning.
This is changing. In a time of increasing cost pressures for health systems and patients, and in which 5 billion people lack access to traditional care, the concept of a ‘hospital’ will mean more than a physical space. Although the most acute care will always take place in advanced medical facilities, future generations may see the inside of a ‘traditional hospital’ far less often than we do today.
Consider the popularity of consumer health trackers that have barely scratched the surface of a personalized medicine revolution. What happens when the usability of such devices is combined with the brainpower behind an ultrasound capable of seeing a baby’s heartbeat in 4D? What if the trove of data that such consumer wearables can potentially capture is funneled via a secure cloud to clinicians and experts with the know-how to analyze and treat?
We’re about to find out.
Around the world, from clinics across Europe to medical home-visits in Africa, miniaturized and portable ultrasound is empowering family doctors and midwives to screen patients quickly and accurately, improving maternal-infant mortality rates. In the U.S., Band-Aid-like monitors – small wireless sensor patches that remotely observe and analyze vitals from under clothes everyday – are being developed at our Global Research Center with the Air Force Research Lab. These are not gadgets. They are the beginnings of a new distributed and networked infrastructure, the other, essential half of the AI and data revolution that’s transforming healthcare
This post appears in LinkedIn Pulse. Read more.