Medical device developers hoping to increase adoption for innovative new devices can take a few pointers from Bertalan Mesko’s recent article for medical students: “Future Trends Help You Choose The Most Fitting Medical Specialty.” Mesko identifies four essential shifts already underway:

  1. Digital capture and storage of patient medical information will enable broader access and through that better access to care.
  2. Doctor’s medical knowledge will be complemented by wider access to health and medical knowledge provided by on-line information sources including patient communities and aggregated sensor data that provide context for an individual’s situation.
  3. An increased use of technology by physicians for diagnosis and monitoring of treatment effects.
  4. Doctors will differentiate from a generally available technology baseline by increasing their empathy and creative problem solving skills.

Dr. Bertalan Mesko, PhD is The Medical Futurist and Director of The Medical Futurist Institute analyzing how science fiction technologies can become a reality in medicine and healthcare. The Medical Futurist Institute has identified four “Grand Challenges:”

  1. Embrace disruptive medical technologies highlights a slow rate of change in tools at the physician’s direct disposal: the stethoscope if 200 years old, the blood pressure cuff 135 years old, and the defibrillator is 70 years old.
  2. Put patients in the center of healthcare “Patients possess a body of knowledge about themselves that we can never hope to master, and we have a body of knowledge about medicine that they can never hope to master. Our job is to bring these two groups together so we can serve each other well.” Robert Wachter, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age
  3. Digitize Healthcare Information “Healthcare must transform from paper based to digital and quantifiable. The combination of telemedicine services and data from health trackers will make this a possibility in the next few years. The rise of remote diagnosis and medicine would not mean the end of the ‘human touch’ in medicine, as many fear. On the contrary, with digital data, it’s easier to share, consult and crowdsource, opening the way for truly personalized care where it is most needed.” Dr. Bertalan Mesko
  4. Shift focus from treatment to prevention “To truly shift focus to prevention, regulators and employers must start subsidizing it at least as heavily as they do treatment. My mission as the Medical Futurist is making prevention popular by promoting the idea of quantifying health.” Dr. Bertalan Mesko