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#What’s Next – The Digital Explosion in Healthcare

Watch out! We’re entering the world of hyper connected medicine.

A world in which every patient, provider, institution, healthcare professional and machine will be connected in a way that promises to completely transform the delivery of healthcare as we know it today.

The implications are stunning.

In the new healthcare scenario that’s emerging, patients act as sensors generating real-time data that can be translated directly into actionable insights not only for the patient but also into bigger medical platforms that collect, integrate and analyze data to discover patterns that can improve medical care for both the individual and the community-at-large.

In the same way that technology is transforming the healthcare ecosystem, the digital hospital is also being reinvented from the back office to the operating room. The emphasis is as much on improving patient outcomes as it is on cutting costs and improving efficiencies.

The application of technology to treatment is simply amazing.

In the field of real-time diagnostics, Zoltan Takats of the Imperial College London developed the iKnife, the first intelligent surgical knife that takes the vaporized smoke from a surgical incision and analyzes it with a mass spectrometer to detect the chemicals in the biological sample. This allows real-time identification of malignant tissue and significantly reduces the length of operations in oncology.

Then there are next generation targeted therapies. For cancer treatment, combining the increasing number of cancer therapies has proven to be exceedingly difficult due to the sheer number of possible combinations. Until now. New approaches in the field of systems biology have been developed that use new computer models and algorithms to crunch data and predict therapy effects that can cut through this complexity. The result?  The ability to deliver effective combinational therapies in years not decades.

From predictive diagnostics to telemedicine to wearable and implanted sensors, a new wave of medical apps are transforming the way patients and physicians manage healthcare.

And it’s all happening right now, all around us.

Best of all everyone stands to benefit — not just the patients who will receive better treatment but also those people who take advantage of digital health advances to avoid becoming patients altogether.