With the International Consumer Electronics Show set to be in Las Vegas January 9th to the 12th, the stage is set for the trends that will define the year ahead and with it, what’s in store for the world into the future. When I was a kid and broke my leg playing real football (soccer to my friends here in the US), my Dad got me the book “Arthur C. Clarke‘s 1982 sequel novel 2010: Odyssey Two“. I read that book along with the Back to the Future movies and imagined George Jetson type vehicles flying around everywhere by then. While that may not come to pass, we do have quite a few things that I could not have dreamed of back then. The internet came just a few years after and has revolutionized the world in which we live in and has leveled the playing fields for many (ergo, “Flat World” economics).
An article on CNN.com I read over the weekend, helped to give us some of the trends we might be able to see this year:
- Voice Assistants – With Alexa, Bixby, Siri, Cortana and more on the way, these Assistants are everywhere. These seems to be the name of the game going forward. We will be assisted with everything we do and the partnerships & collaborations that will be gained with these voice assistants will only increase. Medical applications for patients could be where an Alexa or Siri could be used to reach out for help either Inpatient or Home Monitoring of patients.
- Smart Cities – Will Smart Cities help in areas of energy conservation, smart air quality technology, home automation, electric bikes, etc. “Smart Care Facilities” can leverage the same technologies that can be used for home or office.
- Sports Technologies – While Sports Technologies will be primarily in the areas of wearables, augmented (virtual) reality and sensors, these technologies can be leveraged to help with recovery of injuries and give healthcare providers the ability to provide a better care and recovery plan.
- Robots – When I was a kid, watching Richie Rich’s robot (Irona) or George Jetson’s robot maid (Rosie) were fascinating to think about in a fantasy world. When my kids were born, the hospital that they were born in had a robot named Sam that went through the halls delivering food 9I can’t remember if we were able to utilize it or not….it was so long ago) Maybe this year, we see the if robotics has the ability to be useful with the maturing of artificial intelligence.
- Vehicles (Cars) – The technologies inside vehicles now are leaps and bounds beyond what there was even a few years ago. With internet enabled vehicles, couple with voice assistants and even cars that are tuned to brain waves, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg as of now (yes, I did read that the other day…check out https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-03/brain-waves-will-make-nissan-s-car-of-the-future-a-better-ride)
All in all, healthcare should look at these trends and be able to leverage and prepare for the future because it will be here sooner than you think and millennials will start to gravitate to those providers that respond to their taste and time demands. While still catering to the Baby Boomers over the next 20 years, Generation X & Y, millenials will start to build loyalty to their provider of choice and just like any other product or service, will provide their loyalty at a younger age and stay with it for life. (I’ve use the same care provider now for 18 years; how about you?).