The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of healthcare for at least the next generation.14 It’s a monumental shift brought about by the severity of dealing with COVID-19 beginning with the after-effects on the population, the multiplier effect on the complexity of disease conditions, the emotional stresses brought about by isolationism and taxing of the healthcare system, that is leading to innovations. The future of healthcare is likely to be shaped by several emerging trends and technologies.10 Here are some of the key developments that may shape the future of healthcare: Diagnostics, Genomics and precision medicine, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Electroceuticals, Wearables/Sensors, Patient-Centered Care, Telemedicine, as well as Nutritional Support/Functional Foods and Beverages.
Healthcare has changed dramatically because of past technological developments, from anesthetics and antibiotics to magnetic resonance imaging scanners and radiotherapy.1 Today the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the advancement of the healthcare industry is immense.2 As policymakers and business practitioners across the globe expend extraordinary effort toward the field of e-health, the thriving development of healthcare-wearable technology is creating great opportunities and posing a remarkable future for healthcare services.3
Changes affecting healthcare include 1. Social and economic changes in society (aging population, isolationism, and increased pathogen load), 2. Changes in how health care is provided, and 3. Advances in healthcare technology.4 Medical Research has also become more related to observational data and metadata analysis based to give similar answers to more invasive clinical and case studies with the same effectiveness.5
Genomics and Precision Medicine
But with advances in genomics, we are leading to more personalized treatments based on an individual’s genetic makeup, bringing ancestral effects into play. Such precision medicine can consider a patient’s genes, environment, and lifestyle to create personalized treatment plans.6 While most recognize that lifestyle may play a role in how they feel and how they function, studies are ongoing to see how lifestyle may affect one’s DNA and by extension, how DNA passed down by our ancestors may affect one’s health and the health of their children.
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Lately, artificial intelligence (AI) has been receiving much undeserved press most likely due to the fear that can be conjured up about such widely publicized platforms as ChatGPT®. But AI can be much more than ChatGPT. By definition, AI is simply “software used by computers to mimic aspects of human intelligence.” Under the umbrella of AI are specialties like “machine learning” and “deep learning” that can make decisions without humans24. By using machine language to simulate the human process of thinking, learning, and looking up data, computers can be designed to answer questions by reading reams of information from a multitude of sensors and then comparing the results to a wide array of published database information in order to draw appropriate conclusions. Therefore, AI is now poised to play a significant role in healthcare in the coming years as it can help with diagnosis, drug discovery, and personalized medicine. It can also be used to analyze patient data and identify patterns that can help providers make better decisions.7 Additionally, three-dimensional (3D) printing is a rapidly emerging manufacturing technology that has found its way into drug delivery and medical sectors.8 3D printing allows for creating special and hard-to-find equipment; even very complicated devices.
Also, robotics technology is being used to assist with surgeries and other medical procedures. Robots can provide more precise and less invasive surgeries, which can lead to faster recovery times and better outcomes. Robotics can also be very efficient at home, unloading the pressure on home-assisted care. And now with the onset of precision technology, drones can be used for delivery and emergency access to remote or hard-to-reach places.
While it has been recognized for decades, if not centuries, that the human body has been made up of carbon-based building blocks like proteins, carbohydrates, fats, enzymes, hormones, and water, it is now being recognized that the ionic charge on each atom that makes up these building blocks maybe even more important. Innovations such as Electrocide, with its wide spectrum of properly charged essential minerals allow for pathogens to be eliminated, based on the electrical polarity, and destroyed, triggering natural immune responses that aid the patient in healing faster and having ongoing immunity.8
Wearables and Sensors:
Since the media excitement that helped introduce the FitBit® IPO to Wall Street, many individuals around the globe began using these devices and similar wearables to monitor their daily step count; most of whom look to achieve 10,000 steps per day (a number introduced by FitBit®). While this new motivation has certainly provided helpful awareness about one’s need to increase their daily exercise activities, monitoring steps barely scratch the proverbial surface of what a wearable can provide the wearer. Wearable devices attached to smartphones or other proprietary devices, such as tablets are becoming increasingly popular, allowing patients and professionals alike to monitor health in real time.11 These devices can track and create clinical references for everything from heart rate and blood pressure to sleep patterns and physical activity.13 The data from these devices also can become the basis for not only monitoring but also giving direction through algorithms for treatment.12
Overall, the future of healthcare is likely to be characterized by greater patient-centered care, increased access to care through technology, and more personalized treatments based on an individual’s unique needs.17 Tech and Service Companies like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, Nokia, and others innovating on-screen, artificial intelligence, and database storage technology solutions towards efficiencies in person-based care.20 Healthcare is undergoing a revolution with the availability of wearable sensors. Hospitals have exploited the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to create remote patient monitoring models that observe patients at their homes and in assisted living conditions.18 With the long-term monitoring of patients this generates big data for which further diagnostic tools can be developed.15
Telemedicine and Remote Monitoring:
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of telemedicine and remote monitoring technologies.21 By combining these tools with the other innovations discussed herein, remote monitoring technologies will allow healthcare providers to monitor and treat patients from a distance, increasing access to care and improving health outcomes. Unfortunately, it may also come with the inevitable cost of data access and privacy issues.19
Nutritional support, Functional Foods, and Beverages
Foods and beverages with claimed health benefits are based on scientific research. Beverages can bring energy, much-needed vitamins, and minerals for health maintenance, and happiness.23 Foods as nutrition is basic, but what are the elements of the diet that can eventually lead to disease states? Balancing fats, protein, potential allergens, and beneficial foods which help immunity, mental functioning, and growth are vital to health and longevity.22
Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is becoming increasingly important, given its potential to generate and analyze healthcare data, including genomics to improve patient care and reduce costs and clinical risk while enhancing administrative processes within organizations.9 Using new tools such as Electroceuticals and functional foods which functionally target wellbeing has become a societal trend. Wearables will allow for more personalization and tracking along with metadata analysis for better planning and actions for successful health outcomes.16
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- Y. A. Qadri, A. Nauman, Y. B. Zikria, A. V. Vasilakos, and S. W. Kim, “The Future of Healthcare Internet of Things: A Survey of Emerging Technologies,” in IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 1121-1167, Second quarter 2020,
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- Leonard Sonnenschein, Tiberious Etyang, Rutu Shah, Ruth Frischer, Glen Rein. The Effect of An Aqueous Electricidal Solution on General Well-Being. Am J Biomed Sci & Res. 2021 – 13(4). AJBSR.MS.ID.001899.
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