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Revolutionary Trends in Healthcare, By Shyam Amladi

 

While science is racing ahead with convenience devices to make us increasingly indolent, it is also breaking ground on some transformational medical procedures. Here is a glimpse of what future holds in medical care. 

 


1. Reduced cost of Genome testing for personal use-down to $1,000 from $100 mil just 17 years ago. Benefits: developing gene therapies for curing inherited disorders and diseases such as hemophilia and certain cancers. This has also led to the successful DNA repair mechanism through CRISPR-Cas9. 
Anticipated market size by 2020: $22 billion

 

2. Robotic surgeries: 570,000 in 2014, about 1,400 hospitals have the da Vinci surgical system. In spite of the hype though, we may still be seeing most operations conducted laparoscopically because of da Vinci’s two limitations---extra cost and its single-tool use.
Anticipated market size by 2020: $20 billion

 

3. Telemedicine: both as a training tool and for remote diagnosis, particularly in rural areas around the world where physical presence of a physician is a challenge. It is predicted that by 2024, a third of the patients will “see” their physician virtually.
Anticipated market size by 2020: $32 billion

 

4. AR (Augmented Reality where a practitioner can overlay digital data on to the real world) and VR (Virtual Reality where viewer can immerse into a digital or virtual world): Doctors can use either to a dry-run practice of their techniques, simulations or complicated procedures etc. before the main event. An example is a device called Osso VR which teaches orthopedic surgeons how to use new devices and procedures—without using (or losing!!!) a patient!
Anticipated market size by 2020: $30 billion

 

5. “Concierge” medicine: The current pyrrhic system in which medical care is delivered (insurance, state-mandated care, claim adjustments, HSA, lack of transparency in billing, cost inefficiencies running defensive practices etc.) may become less ubiquitous. For many, it will give way to a direct relationship between the physician and the patient—similar to the disruptive way in which such relationships are forming in other areas such as merchandising and personal transportation. The newly coined phrase is popping up at several clinics around the country. While there are variations, the common point is replacing fee-per-service fee with a flat annual and much more affordable retainer-like fee that covers basic and selected expanded care—cutting out most of the intermediaries and unnecessary mark-ups.

 

Of course, on the other side, there are formidable opposition forces to defy common sense, at least some of them---bureaucrats, lobbyists, hospitals, ambulance chasers and device makers.
Market size—unknown.

 

(Some of the material taken from a recent paper by Joseph Quinlan, U.S.Trust’s head of Market and Thematic Strategy)