One of Indimed’s core missions is developing multidisciplinary start-ups in health and wellbeing space. With a vast collective expertise in business, IT and digital, marketing, artificial intelligence, and medicine, we are committed to ideation, conceptualization, validation, and establishment of novel start-ups that venture into health and wellness universe.
Today’s health start-up ecosystem needs the combination of expertise from different disciplines to be able to provide consumers with meaningful, value driven, personalized solutions to their health and wellbeing problems. The future of health is defined with data and data driven solutions. We need digital solutions that enable policymakers and users alike to collect, mine, process and interpret the vast amounts of health-related data that is produced by every individual and by humanity collectively.
At Indimed, we are interested in start-ups in the intersection of medicine, health, and wellbeing and one or more of the following disciplines/technologies:
Artificial intelligence is an umbrella discipline that can be integrated in health start-ups in many ways. Today, machine vision has found its use in quite a few medical specialties including radiology, ophthalmology, pathology among many others. Natural language processing (NLP) is another branch of AI that is getting more and more attention in developing assistive medical platforms for patients and providers alike. Deep learning and its branches are also finding their way into complex diagnostic and prognostic algorithms developed by interdisciplinary teams. We are developing new use cases for artificial intelligence in our projects. Presently, our focus is mainly on using NLP and deep learning in medical text and information processing.
Overall, the future of medicine is inextricably woven into the use of artificial intelligence in its different subspecialties. However, there are quite a few caveats that need addressing before having a fully intelligent healthcare system, issues like equality, accessibility, bias, accuracy, and precision which need to be studied and addressed. Indimed is interested in start-up ideas that involve and/or cover these aspects.
Augmented and virtual reality
AR and VR are two of the fastest growing technologies in the digital world, so is their application in medicine and healthcare in general. If we believe the future of healthcare is delivering care anywhere the individual is, then we will be able to imagine how many use cases there are for AR/VR technologies. Both consumers and providers benefit from these technologies. Patient education using VR is a promising application of this technology in healthcare delivery. On the provider side, the use of VR in teaching anatomy, improving surgery techniques, patient data visualization etc. are among numerous instances of VR application in medicine.
What makes these technologies even more promising is progress in other complementary tech. Wider access to 5G networks and 5G-enabled devices will result in a wider use of AR and VR in healthcare. Soon, next generations of data delivery protocols, like 6G and LiFi, along with the emergence of quantum internet will make using AR/VR technology in real time with an 8K resolution an ordinary daily life routine.
Indimed’s AR/VR team are working on developing new use cases for these technologies and developing applications for both patients and providers.
Wearable sensors and IOMT
Innovations in medicine, technology and computing are enabling the development of new ways to care for people from remote locations. Two of technological advancements that greatly impact healthcare industry are wearable sensors and the use Internet of Medical Things (IOMT) enabled devices. These two will have a substantial share in shaping the future of medicine and healthcare in general.
Wearable sensors are small devices that measure various physiological signals in the body. These signals are transmitted wirelessly to a device where they can be analyzed, or “crunched”, to produce data which can then be used for medical purposes. Examples of wearable sensors are Fitbit heart rate monitor, smart scales, blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, sleep trackers and sleep apnea sensors. Because these devices are connected to the Internet or mobile phones, they can be connected to cloud computing platforms.
Sensors can monitor patient’s health and provide alerts when necessary. The data collected can also trend data over time so as to link behaviors with certain outcomes for better prediction. An example of this is a wearable heart rate monitor that can detect abnormal heart rate over time. Wearable sensors have been used in many other industries to increase productivity and efficiency, so it’s likely they will also be used in the healthcare industry. In the US, 13% of adults own a wearable device that tracks their health.
Improvements for using these devices in healthcare could emerge from allowing patients to self-track their health and develop tools for appropriate data analysis. As technology moves toward the quantified self-movement, there will continue to be greater opportunities for improvement of diagnostic testing and monitoring of the human body to alert doctors when necessary.
IOMT enabled devices can similarly be used to track patients remotely and control environments within a hospital or clinic without having to physically be there. This can also help to reduce waiting times for appointments. The effects are seen through the adaptation of telemedicine, whereby healthcare professionals move away from traditional methods of communication to use video conferencing and instant messaging to offer remote consultation via telephone or satellite connection.
This evolution in healthcare technology shapes the future of medicine in many ways. For example, it may lead to a change in the number of doctors required to provide a particular service. It also allows for a greater scope for care from locations which are hard to reach from traditional primary care services. Additionally, it could allow patients to monitor their own health and take steps toward preventing disease or illness. All in all, it sounds like that future medicine is going to be very different from today’s medical practice.
However, there are certain concerns regarding the use of IOMT and wearables devices; the biggest one being security and privacy concerns. These devices can be manipulated so as to collect information or even spy on people’s activities. There’s also the fear that it could lead to a reduction in privacy and anonymity, which could lead to an increase in cyberbullying and identity theft.
As innovations continue and technology moves forward, we will see more and more ways that wearable sensors and IOMT devices can be used in medicine to make our lives easier. It’s almost inevitable that this will happen; however, we need to do everything we can to ensure the security of these devices.
Big data analytics
Big data is a term used to describe the huge volumes of information that is created and shared. It has been around for decades, at least since the end of Human Genome Project (HGP), but recent advances in technology, such as the internet of things (IoT) and social media, have increased its importance. The vast amount of collective medical data available now and the anticipated increase in its volume, has helped researchers and tech companies to look for ways to use this enormous data in ways that can help healthcare providers, policy makers and patients alike. It has also helped doctors realize that each individual patient can be looked at through the lens of personalized medicine.
In order to be effective, big data needs to be analyzed and insights extracted. The study and use of big data can be split into five crucial areas:
1) the volume, which is related to the sheer amount of health data available 2) the velocity (speed of delivery), which describe how fast we can collect and analyze data; 3) the variety (different sources), which refers to its availability from different sources (in case of health data: populations), 4) the veracity (accuracy), which refers to its reliability; 5) Value, which is the most important aspect of big data. How valuable are the insights produced form the big data valuable for users (providers, policy makers and patients)?
This means that due to big data, we can become increasingly efficient because we can collect, manage, and analyze vast amounts of data, process it at great speed and generate insights. Medicine has traditionally been focused on small sample sizes, but big data analytics allow for the development of predictive models that can be used to find patterns in large amounts of data. By analyzing databases for patterns, researchers are able to find new connections between diseases and symptoms. The hope is that by using these insights, early diagnoses will become routine, and treatments more targeted.
The future of big data technology in healthcare is bright, though it is fair to say that the road ahead will not be easy. Many doctors are concerned about security issues related to large databases holding personal patient information, while there are also fears over how this information might be misused if it falls into the wrong hands. Blockchain is another trending technology that can address these concerns.
“If we teach, we must never forget; if we learn, we must never cease.” — Confucius
The future of medicine is in the palm of our hands—literally. With the advent of blockchain, there are so many potential benefits for healthcare professionals and patients alike. For people working in healthcare industry, they know about Blockchain by one name—Bitcoin! Blockchain’s potential to revolutionize the way data is stored has led to its recognition as one of the most powerful disruptive technologies ever created by humans.
Blockchain is changing everything about data-based systems in healthcare. It’s the new way to store and distribute data safely, securely, transparently, and reliably connecting various parties to ensure that all data shared gets stored in an immutable way.
With the help of blockchain technology, healthcare industry is able to leverage on these technologies forays into the futuristic era of unprecedented value exchange between patients, medical professionals, and health care service providers. Blockchain technology has opened up new dimensions of possibilities for the healthcare industry. It helps in streamlining processes that are vital to the delivery system of healthcare through smart contracts, enabling parties involved in exchanging data to perform actions only when predefined conditions are met. Blockchain makes it possible to collect, store and share all healthcare data, ranging from hospital medical records, doctor’s notes etc., with complete certainty while maintaining the highest standards of security.
Blockchain technology can be used in healthcare by adopting several functionalities such as big data management, fraud prevention, drug safety & efficacy verification etc. Blockchain has proved itself to be a reliable platform that can process huge data sets quickly and securely with complete accuracy.
Its value for security and privacy of healthcare data is supreme. Blockchain inspires trust and confidence by all of its participants. All the important healthcare data shared on the blockchain is transparently updated in a timely manner which is a requirement for a transparent healthcare ecosystem. Additionally, individuals’ health information is protected from hackers and other cybercriminals because of the stringent security standards on blockchain networks. Blockchain has been shown to be very resilient against hacking attacks from external sources while being extremely difficult to hack.
The next step for blockchain technology in healthcare industry will be to facilitate more comfortable transactions with patients on top of storing of health data securely, more timely updates and easier sharing across networks.