By Asha Saxena, Entrepreneur.com
To most people, “the robot doctor” sounds like the title of a terrible sci-fi movie. But it’s an integral part of the future of health care.
The data revolution is already transforming the health care landscape, and if you want to help shape its future (and make a profit in the process), be prepared to capitalize on these five exciting trends:
1. Preventive medicine will soar.
As information from electronic medical records becomes available in the cloud, health care tasks are moving online. And the digitalization of diagnoses has implications for predictive and preventive medicine.
By registering slight increases in temperature or detecting the early symptoms of a virus, sensors will make it easy for people to take care of themselves before they get sick.
This technology is in the early stages, however, and it needs entrepreneurs to develop its full potential. You can help shape this future by keeping up with trends and innovations.
Connect with your local university to see what you can learn or join a program such as StartUp Health Academy, a global coaching program for entrepreneurs who want to make waves in the health care space.
2. Health care will go from general to personal.
The “Internet of Things” will connect devices that can support predictive medicine and products that link a patient’s wellness to her lifestyle will go from luxury to necessity.
As data becomes more accessible and devices smarter, entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to connect this new technology to the patient experience.
So focus on building a good base of knowledge around data, analytics and tech. Invest in data to get ahead of the curve.
3. Robots will be optimized for health tasks.
With the development of predictive data solutions will come the creation of devices and robots that can complete health care tasks on their own.
Some prototypes already are functioning in hospitals. For example, Eve is a robot built by Aethon that’s programmed to deliver vital samples and supplies at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.
Getting your startup involved in this robotics trend can start with educating and training yourself on the basics. Places such as Codecademy and Coursera offer personalized training courses and programs — often for free. Couple education with up-to-date knowledge on trends, and you’ll set yourself up for success.
4. Collaboration will destroy silos.
Entrepreneurs who can collaborate with researchers, health care organizations and other industry players will be able to innovate successfully and find gaps in technology.
Becoming familiar with networks of health care professionals and entrepreneurs can provide you with this collaborative power. Incubators, such as Chicago’s Matter, are doing an amazing job at connecting innovators with big companies, research institutions and investors to create new life-science startups. Get involved in energetic environments such as this as much as possible.
5. Doctors will have access to more data.
Physicians are already using computers and other high-tech devices and the use of these devices is improving health care. As data becomes more readily available, extensive and personalized, it will revolutionize the way doctors diagnose disease and treat patients.
The X Prize Foundation, an innovation organization led by Dr. Peter Diamandis, is offering a $10 million award to the first team to deliver a working “tricorder,”” the handheld diagnostic device used by medical officers in Star Trek to detect diseases. Diamandis has predicted a team will succeed in the next five years. Entrepreneurs who are able to adapt and innovate technology that connects doctors with diagnostic tools will be poised to take advantage of the data revolution.
You might have noticed that all these trends have one thing in common: data. By building a strong backbone of data in your company, you will reinforce your ability to innovate in line with the health care industry. And by seizing the opportunities provided by technological advancement, you can become this era’s innovator. “The robot doctor” doesn’t sound so improbable now, does it?
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