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2015: A boom year for healthcare technology…or hoverboards?

Martin WoottonIt’s that time of year again where we look back at the closing year, and speculate about how 2015 will develop. For the tech-minded researcher like me, it’s a chance to look at the wider market trends and see the bigger picture.

2014 has been a pivotal year for technology. We’ve seen massive growth in apps, meaningful sales of wearable devices (finally!) and 3D printing gain real traction. By the end of the year, 3 out of 4 people in the UK will have a smartphone, and almost half will have access to a tablet at home. 2014 truly has been the year of the smart, web-connected device. The year smart devices came of age.

But then we knew that. It’s been widely predicted.

What really surprised me this year, though, is just how much of an impact technology providers are having on healthcare and wellbeing. Did you know:

  • Apple and Samsung have both launched not just health-related wearables but a whole range of solutions for both patients and healthcare professionals…
  • …and Google and Facebook also are looking to diversify into healthcare?
  • Doctors are now using their smartphones more than their stethoscopes? Research from our sister company Cello Health Insight shows that over 80% of doctors now use smartphones for profession-related reasons at work
  • 3-D printing has been used to save a baby’s life?
  • Smartphone apps are being used to treat mental illness?

The pace of technological change really is blurring the lines between healthcare and consumer technology. This opens up massive opportunities for both industries, which have traditionally been poles apart. Not any more. Pharma companies and tech players have all been investing massively in this overlap, and this trend is set to continue.

So I see 2015 as the year of healthcare technology. A bit different to the Hollywood view of 2015, as seen in Back To The Future II:  hoverboards, Jaws 23, self-fastening clothes and flying cars.

Actually, as this video shows, hoverboards might just make it by 2015…

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