Future Health, Care and Wellbeing was launched as part of The World in 2040 futurology series and is authored by futurologist Ray Hammond. The five key trends identified by the report are: personalised medicine, stem-cell medicine, nano-scale medicine, gene therapy and editing, and digital health.
Hammond commented on the future of healthcare: “Healthcare is one of the few arenas in which every one of us has a stake. The next 20 years will witness profound change in healthcare, all the more notable given that medical science and healthcare delivery tend to be conservative, slow-moving sectors that are highly resistant to change. The annual global market is currently estimated to be worth around US$8.1 trillion, with annual global spending on healthcare forecast to rise to $18.28 trillion by 2040. With that in mind, we have a collective responsibility to ourselves and to the next generation to determine what that change will look like and the impact it will have on all of us.”
Among the report’s key predictions are that: health information from traditional annual physical check-ups and other tests previously only available in a surgery or lab will be replaced by data from sensors on/around ‘smart’ bodies that will be immediately accessible, in real time; AI chatbots equipped with deep-learning algorithms could relieve emergency room personnel of tending to large numbers of walk-in patients with non-emergencies; and nano-medicine may eventually outperform all other branches of medical science, as scientists create ‘designer drugs’ that are far more powerful than today’s drugs.