How technology is breaking down the ivory tower in medical care

The technology exists to revolutionise healthcare, but will healthcare professionals have the time to adapt?

How technology is breaking down the ivory tower in medical care

Technology is transforming the modern world, and there is perhaps nowhere that shift could be more profound than in healthcare. Advanced robotics, remote patient monitoring and 3D printing all offer revolutionary capabilities in the provision of medical care. But how do we reconcile technological transformation in an industry fundamentally based on human interaction?

As part of Epson’s research into the workplace of tomorrow we interviewed European workers and industry experts to help us understand how technology will transform industry. Dr. Tobias Gantner, Healthcare Futurist, argues technology will deliver a significant impact on human interaction in healthcare. However, he believes it will do so by complementing and enabling it. Technology will provide support systems for physicians, enabling them to redistribute their time and allowing greater interaction with patients.

Printing a healthy future

Seventy-two percent of European medical professionals, surveyed by Epson agree that 3D printing, as well as organic and bio-printing, will reduce surgery waiting times, and a further 70 percent state they will increase surgery and treatment success. Further complementing this shift, printing of personalised prescription medicines has the capacity to dramatically improve treatment outcomes, according to 64 percent of respondents.                                                                     

Advanced printing offers a paradigm shift in healthcare, and one which is already realising results today. Overall, 63 percent of respondents think that 3D printing will be revolutionary in healthcare, from creating new organs and bespoke medicine to addressing logistical challenges. And that change is not a distant one, with 48 percent of respondents agreeing that organic and bio printing will be revolutionary within the next decade.

Augmented healthcare

Augmented reality offers further opportunity to transform the future of healthcare. Imagine surgeons wearing masks which feed them vital, real-time data on their patients, annotating bodies with precision maps of the cardiovascular system. The precursors to such technologies already operate in clinics today.

Our research reveals that 50 percent of respondents think AR will revolutionise surgery, with 45 percent agreeing that AR will be revolutionary for surgical training. This is a future where medical students can view detailed augmented data on anatomy, and explore bodies from different perspectives, contributing to reduced capital and time investments.

Technology will have a huge impact on healthcare education and collaboration. In fact, 76 percent of respondents agree it will allow for improved knowledge sharing thanks to remote access and virtual collaboration, and 72 percent believe greater access to patient data will improve patient care.

Positive healthcare

Technology is ready to revolutionise healthcare, and according to our research, medical professionals are set to embrace it. It will deliver greater efficiency, improved accuracy and data sharing, and ultimately lead to better outcomes for patients.  Advanced robotics are equally set to offer ground-breaking capabilities, something we will explore in other articles.

If this all seems too good to be true, there is one hurdle still in place, and one that comes as no surprise in healthcare – the pressure of time.

New technologies will require industry to adapt, and healthcare workers to adapt with it, yet seventy percent of respondents note concerns about the time required to develop new skills. Although ultimately technology could revolutionise healthcare, will healthcare have the time to implement that revolution?

Want to know more?

The full report has all the insights, you can download it here: