We talk about “live events and experiences,” and often also entertainment. The “entertainment” part is easy to understand. After all, “filmed content” alone will generate US$104.62 billion in value by 2019, per PWC. Livestreaming, user-generated sharing: a veritable tsunami of aspiring platforms push video to the global fans who follow sports, music, and all kinds of other entertainment wherever it takes place.
That’s all great. We’re committed to making a big impact in that arena. Yet connecting people to live experiences means more than delivering large-scale fun to a mobile-powered planet. The need to connect people through video, data, and other real-time information can be life-changing, or even life-saving . Nowhere is this more critical than in medicine.
We see visual connectivity and data integration as a catalyst for medical innovation. More importantly, for improving quality of life for people everywhere. Today I’ll share four themes we’re watching closely. We’ll talk about others in future weeks.
If you wear an Apple Watch or Fitbit, you’re already familiar with devices that track biometrics and make them available for analysis. This is only the beginning. Highly specialized devices and sensors like smart bandages that detect infections and administer medicine, or probes that detect where cancerous cells end and healthy tissue begins: innovation is pushing the edge of what it means to get and stay healthy.
Add in “mobile” and things really get interesting. Personal ultrasound devices like Mobisante connect to smart phones and enable inexpensive, mobile, wireless capture of ultrasound images that can be shared in real time with medical practioners. Imagine what that means in emergency situations where minutes matter – or in parts of the world where traditional ultrasound technologies are not available.
Combine these innovations with real time video capture and you deliver a breakthrough advantage to traditional diagnosis in a range of critical situations.
Experts from Ericsson and Gartner predict that 30 billion IoT sensors and devices will be functioning (and connectable) by 2020. Even if only a fraction of these are dedicated to medical diagnosis, information sharing, and data capture, imagine the revolution ahead.
Building from the Mobisante example, video and other technologies are poised to bring new visual and data information to medicine. Last year’s Teladoc IPO showed market confidence for “distance medicine,” 24/7 access to medical expertise, and the potential of online video consultations.
HIPPA-compliant WoundMatrix lets people capture wound information and share it visually with medical professionals. Video can also be let health workers share critical information with specialists – to and from anywhere in the world – to assist with diagnosis or second opinions. Imagine having access to highly specialized diagnosticians in real time without having to travel to their facility. When this can happen safely and securely, and augmented by biometrics that make critical data visible from afar, imagine the impact on diagnosis, surgery, and more.
Education and practice sharing
As visual content aggregates – examples of specific conditions or treatment techniques – medical professionals gain new access to learning and continuing education. Video and data will transform (perhaps even democratize) the “operating theatre,” sharing new surgical techniques or rare scenarios quickly, cost-effectively, and widely. What’s more, video can allow practitioners to compare surgical techniques or even prepare for unexpected scenarios by reviewing multiple approaches from a range of experts.
Of course, medical and dental professionals have many opportunities to learn from experts. But generally these involve travel, time away from practices, and, of course, expense.
Online repositories where doctors and dentists can watch and learn in real time, or with archived content, will open up whole new realms of access to expertise. Adding ways for viewers to comment, share insights, and model the data captured during procedures: this new frontier can’t be explored quickly enough. Technology that captures what’s happening, integrates it with related data, and makes it accessible across broad audiences will change the way health professionals learn and practice their essential craft.
As sensors and other devices monitor biometric data and integrate that data into analytics platforms, new frontiers for analysis and diagnosis are bound to emerge. Innovators like LifeDojo use data to immediate advantage, looking at patterns across a range of companies to optimize the short and long-term impact of employee health and well-being.
Bigger, massive-scale data – all anonymized, of course, to protect PII – will allow new sorts of modeling and interpretation, and the possibilities are game-changing. Take CureViolence. Founded by an epidemiologist who knew first-hand about the spread of disease in high-risk areas, this non-profit leverages data about spread of contagious diseases to predict – and prevent – the spread of violence.
Tracking data about initial outbreaks, CureViolence brings intervention and treatment to at-risk areas, blocking the spread of violence “epidemics.” Imagine the use of video and more comprehensive data to this mix and the predictive value gets even deeper. New relationships between occurences that previously seemed disconnected will begin to emerge, allowing even earlier identification of risks.
For a glimpse of what large scale data can help us envision, look to this WIRED report on transmission of pathogens between species: fascinating.
The growing set of data tracking a range of health and environmental factors will allow better prediction and analysis than ever possible before.
And there’s more. Medicine is at the edge of a new frontier – one with breakthrough implications for insurers, medical practitioners, and above all: people everywhere. AerNow is committed to contributing to these advances by delivering a platform that supports this evolution for all participants in the medical ecosystem.
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