Posted on behalf of Kavisha Ramdayal
Innovators with a flair for technology can find lucrative opportunities in healthcare, according to speakers at this year’s BioVision forum in Lyon, France.
Technology can provide cost-cutting solutions in areas such as patient management, where there is substantial room for improvement. In many cases existing technologies can be exploited in innovative ways, such as the use of cellular phones for remote patient monitoring. In addition to telecommunications, other areas of growth include biotechnology, where 3G wireless technologies have already improved diabetes management and care, and nanotechnology.
Studying patient behaviour to identify unmet needs could also lead to new revenue streams, with the internet and social media giving scientists increased access to patient opinion and other data. However, the need to protect patient privacy remains paramount, particularly considering the speed of technology advancement. Alastair Kent, vice-president of the International Genetic Alliance, said new opportunities were emerging, but highlighted the need for responsible technological applications to adhere to regulations and licensing procedures.
The delivery of healthcare technologies also requires a fundamental overhaul if costs are to remain sustainable, said Nicolaus Henke, a consultant at the McKinsey Hospital Institute. If this can be achieved, Henke says technology has a significant role to play in healthcare management – although it should not be considered a substitute for the human touch.
Kent and Henke were speaking at the “How can technology innovation transform healthcare delivery?” session alongside other expert speakers at the BioVision forum.