Healthcare Trends for 2014

One of the best parts of switching the calendar over from one year to the next is the inevitable articles and blog posts predicting the trends, innovations, and breakthrough products set to take the world by storm over the coming twelve months. We thought we’d highlight a few of the pieces that caught our eye as we prepped for 2014:

  • As Michael Björn, Head of Research at the Ericcson ConsumerLab, said: “The most important trend we see is the mass demand for apps and services across all industries and societal sectors which has the potential to fundamentally change everyday life.” This trending towards the increased use of smartphones and applications tracks closely with the Smartphone Physicals we featured in our spaces at both TEDMED and NeoCon last year. As consumers become more and more comfortable using technology to measure various aspects of their health and wellness, and the technology reaches a point where it is user-friendly enough, the healthcare system as we know it will embark upon a major transformation. No longer will face-to-face appointments be as necessary – pre-emptive and preventive care will become more common as users are more aware of their own health information.
  • We have written about the quantified self before, but it will only grow in influence during 2014. “Blood pressure, pulse and steps are just some examples of how we want to measure ourselves with mobile devices, using personally-generated data” and as the Internet and smartphones grow in ubiquity, the amount of data being tracked will skyrocket. Big Data, as a movement, can only benefit.
  • From the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, Toby Cosgrove: “Healthcare in our country is changing…a good place to start is to talk about the role of hospitals. Over the past 25 years, hospital usage has dropped. More than 200,000 hospital beds have been closed in the United States. Not coincidentally, outpatient visits have risen by 200 percent over the same period. It’s not to say people no longer need hospitals; rather, the purpose of these structures is changing.” As services like telemedicine increase and more and more retail-esque healthcare options develop, this transition away from the hospital as the primary point-of-care will continue.
  • As the Internet becomes available in more places, consumers will soon demand that the rest of their environment interact with them as well. This means sensors that people can use to complement their apps on their smartphones – on their TV, in their doctor’s office, who knows, maybe in their furniture?

What do you foresee for 2014? It’s shaping up to be an exciting year!

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