While most of the successful companies in the last couple of decades have brought innovation on the consumer side (Google, Amazon, Uber, etc.), Healthcare has seen innovation predominantly on the production side. This has now given birth to a new range of appliances which are smarter, smaller and cheaper. Robots are being developed to perform guided surgeries, detect complications and reach places where a surgeon could never go. This coupled with minimum incision, local anaesthesia and flawless accuracy, Surgeries, in a few decades, will take no longer than an hour and it will not take more than a couple of days to recover.
The Future of Healthcare
Let us look at the longer term picture, would we even need surgeons in say 2115??
What if I predict that each baby on birth, will have a couple of nano-tubes inserted in the body? These tubes would travel throughout the body, work for as long as the person lives, detect any abnormalities in the system and either rectify the abnormality or report it at the onset. Most diseases would be cured at the earliest of stages, eliminating the need for a surgery. Your earpiece will receive the messages from those nanotubes and your Google Glass XX would display all that you need to do next. Doctors would no longer be needed, all we would need would be Innovators.
Ok, this all sounds too great to be true and very few of us will probably be alive to see this (some of will though), so what is going to happen in the immediate future, say 4-5 years?
While innovation on the production side will continue to happen, we predict that there will be an unprecedented growth in companies trying to bring innovation on the consumer side. From booking appointments with Doctors to booking appointments for Diagnostic tests to ordering medicines online to setting pill reminders to booking a cab/ambulance for all the appointments to awareness on Preventive Healthcare, each of the above verticals have immense potential.
Let us travel 3 years in the future, we are in Jan’2018 and I get a severe headache. I open this healthcare app, look for best doctors nearby who cater to headaches, book an appointment, then book a ride to the appointment. Upon visit, the doctor is filling up an online prescription which at the end, I also get a copy, stored in my online medical repository; the tests and medicines prescribed are added in my cart and the pill reminders set, I browse through the options and book the tests, I have my tests conducted and by the time I reach back, my medicines are already delivered. In a couple of hours, I receive a notification from the app that my report has been generated and added in my repository. A copy of that report is already shared with the doctor, and within an hour I receive the diagnosis from my doctor that I do not need to worry and it was just because of some acid reflux. I want to be double sure and share the report with another doctor with similar work experience for a Second Opinion. By the end of the day, I receive the diagnosis of this second doctor that is consistent with the one from before. I am now satisfied, then get a reminder to take that the orange pill, I take my pill and enjoy a good night sleep.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it! And this, in no way is just a stretch of imagination. Although, currently we might not have all of the above at one place, but we do have individual companies working in each of the above. Practo is leading the work on Doctor Appointments, HealthKart Plus in online medicines and Medyog (the owner of this blog) in Diagnostics. The industry has so much potential that all of the above companies can be assumed to be in various stages of infancy.
A lot of work needs to be done, and is being done to bring transparency and convenience in the Healthcare Industry. This decade, for the healthcare industry, promises to be a decade of the user.