The Future of Personalized Healthcare: Predictive Analytics – Satish Kannan

In Columns, Technology

One size doesn’t fit all – The modern healthcare industry must have drawn inspiration from this old adage. Until a decade or two ago, the concept of personalized healthcare was not quite heard of. It was only during the late 80’s when health professionals across the globe started to feel the need for a personalized healthcare system to make more informed medical decisions. The healthcare sector went through many phases over the following years and, today, it continues to become increasingly personalized. With constant technological progress and ground-breaking innovations taking place in the field of medicine, let’s have a quick look at the future of personalized healthcare.

Demand for online doctor consultation platforms will go up

According to Cisco’s 13th annual Visual Networking Index (VNI), the number of smartphone users in India will touch 829 million. This number roughly makes up for 60% of the country’s current population. Simultaneously, the mobile data consumption will increase by 5x as compared to 2017. This surge in smartphone usage and data consumption means the demand for online doctor consultation platforms will soar in the coming years. Especially, in rural areas where people have little to no access to organized healthcare facilities, these platforms will come to their aid by enabling them to seek one-on-one consultation from specialist doctors through chats and video calls.

Artificial intelligence will become the game-changer

The time is not far when doctors will provide patients with tailored interventions based on factors such as their age, gender, medical history, and susceptibility to health risk. Earlier, a large scale implementation of personalized healthcare was not possible due to limitations in technology and budget constraints. Thankfully, advancements in AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning are slowly but surely bringing a change to this scenario. AI and machine learning applications can successfully comprehend individual patient data, detecting patterns, analyzing risks and making predictions about the individual’s odds of developing any side effects to the drugs, if any. Many healthcare providers have started utilizing deep learning tools to come up with individual treatment plans, and more will follow suit in the near future.

Wearable medical devices and health apps will further enable personalized healthcare

The wearable medical device market is currently witnessing a stellar growth, as demands for fitness trackers and heartbeat monitors continue to rise. The medical data recorded by these devices can be analyzed to further improve the personalized healthcare system. In fact, the wearable medical devices will also play a crucial role in predicting health conditions and monitoring patient health outside clinics.

Technology has progressed to such an extent that it now has the ability to create major disruptions in the healthcare sector. When it comes to personalized healthcare, the impact is even more. With 2018 coming to an end, we are yet to see what new wave of innovations is in cue for the forthcoming year. However, one thing is certain; the future of personalized healthcare will be based on hard data, minimizing the health risks and enabling patients to live a long, disease-free life.

(The author is the CEO and Founder at DocsApp – a one-of-its-kind mobile app that allows patients to consult specialist doctors in less than 30 minutes from anywhere at anytime.)

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