About the Book
With the spread of social media, digital health and disruptive technologies such as health sensors, artificial intelligence, or robotics, a new era has begun in healthcare. The ivory tower of medicine is breaking down; patients are becoming empowered; and technologies have been changing the status quo of the doctor-patient relationship.
Healthcare in the 21st century is facing several challenges such as a growing demand for the management of chronic conditions and the increasing costs of healthcare. Digital technologies provide a pathway by which healthcare becomes sustainable and meets the most important goals: improving health, improving patient satisfaction, and reducing costs.
Patients are motivated because of their condition. Physicians derive motivation from the proactivity of their patients. Both patients and caregivers are actively devoted. Companies and start-ups are driven by business needs generated by these changes. This new ecosystem can only thrive if relevant policies are comprehensive and efficient. Before, policy-makers had more time to regulate a new technology as pressure only came from lawmakers.
In the 21st century, this has significantly changed as pressure also comes from consumers who can access data, information, and technologies. They don’t wait anymore for policy-makers to make technology available but turn to new technologies if that helps alleviate pain, better manage their disease, or lead to a cure.
The #wearenotwaiting initiative is the perfect example for this kind of pressure. As there was no single device on the market to monitor blood sugar and supply insulin automatically, creative patients invented a DIY version from existing technologies. A movement grew out of the initiative and campaigned for the introduction of such an artificial pancreas on the market for years. One of the leading figures of the movement, Dana Lewis used the device for almost two years before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States finally approved it. Patients are not limited to staying outside the ivory tower but can access almost anything only professionals could access before.
This notion made us write this report. At The Medical Futurist Institute, we feel obliged to help the public adopt digital health safely, efficiently, and quickly. We hope to inspire policy-makers worldwide to make the first steps in shaping their regulatory agencies, adopt new technologies, or at least acknowledge patient empowerment and the cultural transformation of healthcare.
As digital health is growing fast and generative AI tools like ChatGPT have hundreds of millions of users, new examples will arise soon therefore this report will be updated when needed and your feedback is more than welcome for that.
Let’s bring healthcare together to the 21st century.
About the Author
Dr. Bertalan Meskó, PhD is The Medical Futurist. A geek physician with a PhD in genomics and Amazon Top 100 author, he envisions the impact of digital health technologies on the future of healthcare, and helps patients, doctors, government regulators and companies make it a reality.