We live in a high velocity, flat world economy.? New business models, products, and markets are appearing at a fast and furious pace.? Whole new careers are available that weren?t around even ten years ago.? Job opportunities for being a search engine optimizer or webmaster weren?t on the career menu when I graduated Millsaps in 1990.? I can?t even imagine how it will change by the time my daughter Ally graduates college in 2022.
For entrepreneurs who observe, study, and understand these trends, opportunity abounds. There are probably no greater opportunities right now than in the healthcare industry.? This article will review five emerging trends in healthcare technology.
Bio-Connectivity has been described as ?the marriage of the computer chip and connectivity technology to medical devices, and ultimately, to people.? Two high growth areas within Bio-Connectivity are wellness monitoring services and e-health services. Wellness monitoring allows doctors to remotely monitor a patient?s condition. E-health services provide pro-active medical care. For example, a patient could have a sub-dermal patch which provides for automatic delivery of the pharmaceutical but also allows the treating physician to monitor its effect. Digital Connect Magazine, which monitors development with home and business connectivity devices, suggests that U.S. revenue from digital home health services will quadruple to exceed $2.1 billion by 2010.
Bio-Informatics, which is predicted to be a $3 billion dollar market by 2010, is the field of science in which biology, computer science, and information technology merge to form a single discipline. Advances in the field of molecular biology together with advances in genomic technologies have led to an explosive level of growth in biological information generated by the scientific community. This massive amount of information has led to a great need for computerized databases to store, organize and index data and sophisticated tools to view and analyze this data. For example, when faced with the overwhelming task of identifying each of the individual victims of 9/11, the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner turned to a small software company called Gene Codes and its software based on the principal of Bio-Informatics to address the issue.
NanoMedicine is the medial application of the ability to manipulate and modify material properties at the molecular or nanoscale level. It is predicted that the United States? demand for nanotechnology health care products will grow to $50 billion in 2011. This technology is being utilized in pharmaceuticals, diagnostic products, medical supplies and devices.? For example, scientists in Illinois are using corn protein to create new skin and deliver medicine through nanotubes.
Health 2.0 is the emerging concept of the Web 2.0 phenomenon as applied to healthcare.? As a starter, you can think about the world of Facebook and MySpace and the power of social collaboration in the healthcare arena.? Websites such as www.patientslikeme.com connect patients together to share and support one another. Health 2.0 is more than just social collaboration, as evidenced in one definition of Health 2.0 companies as ?those next generation health companies that leverage the principles of openness, standards, and transparency; utilize the technology tools of collaboration, information exchange, and knowledge transfer; and focus on delivering value added services that empower health participants (patients, physicians, providers, and payers) with freedom, choice, and accountability for health outcomes.?
These are exciting times.? Business markets and opportunities have literally expanded from the city square to around the globe. I am optimistic that our state and its talented and visionary entrepreneurs will be a part of leveraging these and other trends in healthcare technology.
Originally published in Pointe Innovation Magazine