This article by Vinod Khosla, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and venture capitalist, predicts that there will be an evolution driven by external disruptors over the next 20 years in roughly three year cycles. Greater availability of sensors and cloud based computer analytics systems will evolve to continuously monitor health so that it becomes pre-emptive in nature rather than reactive.
The doctor’s role will evolve to leverage this data; increasingly the role of the doctor will change to be centred on the human aspects of care such as empathy and ethical choices rather than diagnosis, prescription and monitoring. Smart systems will mostly supplant diagnosis by physician and augment the role doctor’s role but won’t replace hands-on functions, for example medical procedures and the invention thereof, and it will enable a holistic view that will empower to patient to be at the centre of their care. There are opportunities to improve healthcare through the use of technology for continuous monitoring, more rigorous science, and more precise and consistent (across doctors) insights into individual patients.
Anonymous pooling of patient data will create a snowball effect where improved understanding of data can aid in exponential improvements in health care delivery and health outcomes. Ultimately, a different health paradigm will emerge, one that is built on massive amounts of data being used for the good of all patients, and the net effect will be lower costs, better health outcomes, and a new age of medicine.