New From the Near Future: A Smarter Vision for Healthcare

future of healthcare

This past May, attendees at The Near Future in Washington, D.C. were treated to talks from world-renowned technology, innovation, and business experts who presented on how technologies of the future will one day change how we live, learn, work, and play. They brought on stage the latest in virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms and artificial intelligence and shared how these technologies are already transforming the world around us. The event was inspired by a video, produced by CableLabs, that showcased emerging technologies once considered science fiction.

On Monday, CableLabs unveiled their latest installment in their vision for the near future. A new video, titled “A Better Place” explores how healthcare might be revolutionized by smart technology and powerful connectivity. Particularly, it looks at how emerging technologies might change senior care and allow our loved ones to retain their independence.

The video blends advancements we already enjoy, such as teleconferencing, with some more theoretical ones such as medical nanobots that one day might be able to treat cancer. All these technologies, from wearable biometric sensors to robot companions that can keep track of medication, demonstrate the inherent power of information networks. The point being that the technological revolution we’re living through will fundamentally change what long term healthcare looks like. Virtual housecalls might be convenient not only for patients, but for doctors as well. To turn that fantasy into a reality requires high speed, secure, reliable internet connections that new technologies rely on. Those networks are already here as more and more Americans have access to gigabit speeds in their homes.

“All of these technologies working together will enable us to live that fuller life” CableLabs CEO Phil McKinney said. “The ability to live independently, live in our homes, live in a lifestyle that we want to live and not have to do the sacrifices just because of medical conditions or because of our age. The ultimate objective is to allow us to keep our independence.”

A Harvard study estimates that there will be 14.1 million people aged 85 or over in America by 2040. In comparison there were 5.5 million Americans in that age group in 2010. As our lives continue to become more and more connected, robust broadband becomes even more critical. So while we don’t know if a robot will follow us around and remind us to take our medication, we do know that the networks required to power that future are here.