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. Advances in technology are allowing for the provision of affordable, decentralized healthcare for the masses and are lowering the barriers to entry in less developed markets.
The most evident of these insights is mobile technology as a catalyst for change. The mobile phone and connected tablet computer are allowing for the distribution of a broad range of medical and support services. This is especially important in countries with little or no healthcare infrastructure and areas in which there are few trained healthcare professionals. These technologies also allow trained professionals to perform quality control remotely.
Amongst the many significant developments is a shift towards one-on-one, in-field diagnostics and monitoring. Services that were once only available at a doctor’s office or hospital are now available on-demand through low-tech, affordable solutions. Personal systems allow for ‘good enough’ diagnostics that would have been difficult, expensive, and timely to attain previously.
Using a basic phone with adapted software, a health worker can test for myriad symptoms—even cancer. This information can be relayed to a central medical care center where doctors and trained professionals can react to the data, provide prompt diagnosis and suggest treatment options. The ability to capture this data and get quick responses remotely means better healthcare, fewer trips to the hospital (which, for many means days away from home and family), and less time away from work.
PSFK’s Future of Health Report, provides an analysis of the trends impacting healthcare around the world. We explore this future from the perspective of organizations, patients, healthcare providers and communities. We also highlight how technology and access to information play a vital role in the ways that people understand, manage and receive care. The trends identified within this document and the examples used to bring them to life are inspired by innovation from around the globe.
The report also features concepts generated by the world’s leading advertising and design agencies in reaction to trends found within the Future of Health report. The parameters for the solutions were set by UNICEF, and were imagined with emerging countries in mind. Specifically, UNICEF identified the key challenges faced by community health workers around the world.
The concepts are not meant to anticipate every challenge faced in the field, but to inspire likeminded individuals working at companies, organizations, universities and governments. Thank you to all the agencies who worked with us on this project: Bettie McGuinness Bungay New York, Weiden + Kennedy New York, Zemoga, Cunning, Great Works, Night Agency, Studio 1Thousand & Flamingo International, Story Worldwide, Tokyo Coyote, Lorenzo Marini & Associates New York and People, Ideas, & Culture.