Part 1: Technology and the future of healthcare
Okay, I must confess, I didn't wake up one morning and thought "hmm, I am going to write about healthcare today". Whatever the motivation was when I wrote this, I still can't share the complete details for now. But as soon as the details are de-classified, I will be more than glad to add them here. Healthcare, especially in Africa, is an issue that I am very passionate about. And I hope that I can contribute towards its improvement in any way I can. So enjoy!
Taking healthcare and health services to rural regions around the world has its unique challenges. For example, in many areas in rural Nigeria, the closest doctor may be more than a five-hour drive. Furthermore, many clinics have no experts, and it is usually the case that the nearest specialist is more than 100 miles away.
Hence, in discussing solutions on how to bring affordable healthcare to people in such situations, I believe that technology will be playing an important role. And health companies can benefit if they can tap into the vast potential that advancements in technology are offering to healthcare.
For instance, artificial intelligence is being used to redesign healthcare. We are seeing how AI algorithms are helping scientist with the mining of medical records and create drugs much faster. One example is Atomwise, a US-based start-up founded in 2012 that is using supercomputers to root out therapies from a database of molecular structures. Part of their effort has been geared towards developing technology to help develop safer, more effective agricultural pesticides.
Also, I cannot leave out health trackers, wearables, and sensors. As I earlier mentioned, in many developing countries, there is a shortage of health-care professionals to attend to the medical needs of the local communities. Hence, I believe that the future of medicine and healthcare is connected to the empowerment of patients as well as individuals taking care of their health through technologies.
Those of us currently living or working in the developed world can attest to the revolution taking place in healthcare through the influence of technology. It is my opinion that working with technology in rural communities will derive similar benefits. And any healthcare company that can provide patients with the opportunities and instrument they need to take charge of their health will undoubtedly be at the forefront of the healthcare revolution.