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The Future of Healthcare: Power shifting to the patient

Ross Dawson recently did the opening keynote speech at Australasian Long-term Health Conditions Conference in Auckland, New Zealand.

NZ Doctor reported on Dawson’s keynote in an article titled Technology shifts the ‘power’ to patients:

Technology is driving a shift of power from institutions and professions towards consumers and individuals, according to futurist Ross Dawson.

A keynote speaker at the Australasian Long-Term Conditions conference being held in Auckland today, 29 July, and tomorrow, 30 July, Mr Dawson wowed delegates with examples of technology changing the way we live and work.

In one case, the brain of a paralysed woman was hardwired to a robotic arm and by thinking, she was able to instruct the arm to pick up a mug so she could drink through the straw.

By 2017, half the people in the world will have smartphones and half will have downloaded a medical app, Mr Dawson says.

Smartphones and other portable devices such as smart-watches, essentially powerful computers, can gather real-time health information.

That’s putting power with the consumer, Mr Dawson says.

The article goes on to describe how social media and smartphones are shifting power in health:

Social media and smartphones are driving the shift of power and increasingly consumers have expectations of good service, irrespective of who is delivering it.

Mr Dawson spoke of smart homes, wired to understand the health needs of occupants, sensing whether someone was in trouble and reacting accordingly.

Such technology would enable people to live longer in their own homes before needing rest home care.

The article goes on to look at Dawson’s comments on remote work, monitoring patients’ medicine-taking, and changing health behaviors.

More details can be found in the complete article.