Navigating the future of healthcare technologies

Health services are pressed globally as mental and preventable conditions skyrocket.  The notion of Artificial Intelligence (AI), drones and robotic technologies are emerging as ‘Science will Save Us.’  But will it?

External healthcare technologies claim to reduce costs and improve a patient’s quality of life. Surely, this can be done if accuracies are near 100%, yet most tech falls short. Typical accuracy ranges are 90-98%, which may sound very high. However, imagine a scenario where a health app or AI scanning tool that can be used at home (i.e. without a healthcare expert) that is 95% accurate.  Such a tool could be for identifying skin cancer or glaucoma.

If such a technology were to be used daily or even weekly by a city of people with, say, 500.000 citizens at an accuracy of 95%, then 5% or 25.000 people may experience a false-positive and be incorrectly warned or worried - every day. The consequence is an overflow of health service queries and unnecessary use of healthcare resources to dismiss the inaccurate claim.  The exact opposite of the technologies claim.

How can we, as future patients, justify paying for these services out-of-pocket or via our taxes, and on what basis should decision-makers incorporate emerging technologies?

Navigating the landscape of future healthcare services and technologies will still require close collaboration with human experts. Thus, investments in new technologies and backing up of startups will also need to accept that investing in growing people's skill sets is equally important.  This may give rise to innovations in marketplaces and supporting platforms, like that of ContentAvenue, where experts can be outsourced and matched.  Such investments may be even more lucrative as we have just witnessed the ‘Great Resignation’ post-Covid and the recent scale back in hiring and massive layoffs of big-tech firms.

 Time will surely reveal if AI and supporting technology can Save Us or simply increases the productivity demand for individual output, a primary source for mental and preventable health conditions.

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