The Future of Healthcare

In less than 72 hours, we’ll bid our farewell to 2019 and welcome in 2020 (with a bang). 2019 has been a year of change and revelations for me. I changed jobs not once but twice, navigated new waters, and took on new challenges. Definitely a much more interesting and fast paced year compared to 2018.

So needless to say, December 2019 was a month of non stop action too. In the midst of all the things that were happening around me, it was also unfortunate that I attended a few funerals.

One that was particularly heart breaking was of an elder who was living alone, and passing away after a fall. I didn’t get the exact details because I’m Chinese and its considered rude to ask such probing questions, and the matter of fact was that no one can really tell the cause and effect of the death. All we know was that he died from Cerebral Edema (commonly known as swelling of the brain).

The first thing that struck me was how the elder might have felt in his last moments. Did death came swiftly? Or was there a time lapse between him lying on ground, helpless, too weak to get help, till the time he took his last breath? How lonely he must have felt if it was the latter.

What if the elder was wearing IoT health trackers that tracked his vital signs, and the house were installed with smart sensors that with the help of AI, was able to determine that he was in distress? And what if, the correct diagnosis could be made almost instantaneously, with medication administered remotely, while help was on the way?

While there are some sort of health wearables and monitoring sensors that are already available in the market, many of them are limited to latent tracking, or binary motion detection with simple machine learning AI algorithms in place. Most of the more advance applications are either at different stages of development / testing, lacking the infrastructure for end to end implementation, or too expensive for mass deployment. There is also the hurdles of regulation to contend with.

While 2020 isn’t going to be the landmark year for digital health, the good news is that there is still advancements being made. And in a not so distant future, perhaps critical medical care can be rendered at the first instance through leveraging on 5G, Edge Computing and AI.

About Kaye
Grew up in Singapore, stood on the cusp of the internet revolution and surfed it (literally). My “cloud” was made up of FTP servers, my “WiFi” were RJ-45 cables that ran across the walls in trunking that my dad hand-laid, and I coded in Turbo Pascal (if you know them, you’re probably as old as I am, or older). 🙂

I’m fascinated by all things digital and still bear nostalgia towards childhood gadgets. My first Pentium-I PC that ran on Windows’98, the comforting sound of the 56K modem, the fun I had with the Nintendo PopEye Handheld, the fights with my siblings over who got to use the land line, and my original Nokia 3310 that’s still sitting somewhere in my mom’s house. Not to mention the grande dames of the living room – the television sets that I grew up watching.

The site name originated from my mother. Every time she wanted to tell me something that I may not like, she’ll always start with “Just general talk…”. From her general talks I’ve learned, reflected, and rebutted (a lot). Caused her (major) heartaches along the way, and still inflicting some (minor ones) on a regular basis.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my articles. So do connect with me and let me know what you think of my articles.! 🙂

Connect with me:
Twitter: @kayehau

Feature image by Ryan Plomp on Unsplash

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