What every leader can learn from technology transforming healthcare

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In Norway, robots are mimicking consumer products to remind patients when to take their medication and control the quantity available, speaking directly to the patients and communicating other information through light and text displays. “One of the patients using the robot was in his 40s and had Parkinson’s disease, and had to take his medicine at exactly the right time,” explains Grete Kvernland-Berg, Norway country head and government expert at PA. “He went from staying at home more or less in his bed, to going out on skis. Another patient likes her robot so much she brings it with her everywhere.” The benefits from the programme included reduced amounts of home visits, increased feelings of safety, positive health effects and boosted levels of activity.

Adds Elizabeth Lee, a digital expert at PA: “The key thing leaders need to understand about introducing new innovative technologies like robots is you need to create solutions thoughtfully designed around users.”

Success can often beget success. Referring to wearable devices that monitor heart rate, Lee asks: “How might we use this technology in concert with other digital therapeutics to detect anxiety and treat it through an app? How do we use this technology with artificial intelligence to better prevent strokes? And how can this technology complement human interaction and care? These are the sorts of questions we help our clients answer every day, as they seek to find new opportunities for care, and new revenue streams. The real magic is the potential for each new product or solution to lay the foundation for additional innovations and lines of business. The possibilities are endless.”

What’s next in human-centric care?

The outlook is nothing but exciting, with a range of new technologies set to personalise care ever further. Take, for example, continued advances in genome sequencing. Before long, scientists are expected to have the ability to create a genetic blueprint for every individual, providing physicians and pharma and biotech companies with an invaluable tool to develop bespoke therapies and treatment regimes.

And today, PA scientists at its Global Innovation and Technology Centre are accelerating the development of Ori Biotech’s platform technology to enable the production of cell and gene therapies at market scale. In the future, this will make it possible for patients to get access to high quality, affordable cell therapies much earlier. Coming soon are projects designed to modify genes to treat a wider range of diseases, including those that are currently untreated.

Paolo Siciliano, a life sciences expert at PA, believes there’s never been a better time to be in the pharma and biotech industry. “As a species, we’re barely scratching the surface of what we can achieve,” he says. “The power of IoT and Big Data analytics, combined with a better understanding of the human psyche, is opening up incredible opportunities to create innovative technologies that deliver more personalised, more meaningful care. The future is very bright indeed.”

Technology has the potential to answer many of the world’s toughest challenges, but it requires human ingenuity to unleash it. PA Consulting, in partnership with WIRED, shares insights on what it takes to develop and deliver life-changing technology.

This article was originally published by WIRED UK

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