Future of Health: Challenges And Implications

Future of Health: Challenges And Implications

PSFK has examined the top ten challenges faced by UNICEF teams in the field, and has identified key implications in the Future of Health report that help address them.

Kyle Studstill
  • 2 august 2010

This post is part of a PSFK Consulting project aimed at providing insight into the Future of Health. How will the trends identified in this report impact health for the many? The Innovation team at UNICEF identified ten critical challenges their local teams face in the field, and below we describe how change reported in this document is helping to overcome them.

Challenge: Lack of Access To Relevant and Actionable Information

Access By Anyone

Information and health services are now more easily utilized by people without access to an internet connection or costly hardware.

Challenge: Difficulty In Executing Distance Training

Remote Guidance

treatment of patients by non-experts can now be augmented with professional doctor guidance in emergency situations.

Challenge: Limited Ability To Contact Physicians and Health Workers When Necessary

Anywhere Diagnosis

Temporary, ad-hoc hospitals can be set up for doctors to monitor larger groups of people who get too sick to travel to hospitals.

Challenge: LimIted AvaIlabIlIty of Dosage InformatIon For CertaIn Age Groups

Virtual Medical Records

Patients can carry their personal medical record easily, allowing access to medical history at any hospital or health clinic.

Challenge: Lack of Connection/Communication Between Community Health Workers

Community Information Officers

Messengers have influential roles within their immediate communities, serving as a contact point and service provider.

Challenge: Difficulty With Identification Of CommunIty Health Workers

Phone As ID

Financial services are addressing security and identity concerns on mobile devices, making it possible for health services to use the mobile number as a means of ID.

Challenge: Important Need To Continue Building Trust And Respect WIthin Communities

Empower Local Leaders

Helping citizens create their own message boards around relevant topics can provide a forum for discussing local issues.

Challenge: Limited Methods For Scheduling Visits and Check-Up Reminders For Patients

Frequent Check-Ups, Early Detection

Mobile devices can be used to monitor healthy patients and larger populations, therefore reducing the amount of visits for patients.

Challenge: Identifying Needs In Different Parts of the World and Adapting The Use Of Programs/Technologies Accordingly

Shared Insights

Crowdsourcing data can allow multiple groups of people (universities, medical institutions, etc.) to analyze it and react to findings or changes.

Challenge: Difficulties In Registering New Births

Targeted Updates

Triggered events, such as purchasing habits of new parents, can send out alerts to appropriate personnel.

PSFK’s Future of Health Report details 15 trends that will impact health and wellness around the world. Simple advances such as off-the-grid energy and the introduction of gaming into healthcare service offerings sit alongside more future-forward developments such as bio-medical printing. The report includes concepts for UNICEF based on the trends provided by the world’s leading advertising and design agencies. It is our hope that this report will inspire your thinking and lead to services, applications and technologies which will allow for more available, quality healthcare.


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