Future of consumer healthcare industry analysis

Consumer

The Future Laboratory and consumer healthcare company RB have written a report that examines the trends that affect the health and wellbeing of global consumers throughout their lives, and how the consumer healthcare industry is likely to evolve. Here are some soundbites from that report:

Wearables will move beyond monitoring devices to analyse wearers’ sweat for different biomarkers and signs of ill-health. Soon these will be able to ascribe barcodes to macroparticles including bacteria, viruses and pollutants, notifying the wearer of their presence and their own vulnerability to infection. 

“The Future Laboratory and consumer healthcare company RB have written a report that examines the trends that affect the health and wellbeing of global consumers throughout their lives, and how the consumer healthcare industry is likely to evolve. “

3D printing will further advance levels of personalisation, which will enable individuals to access hyper-personalised drugs at their local pharmacy, uniquely tailored in shape and quantity to their body.

Nanotechnology will revolutionise pain management. Soon tiny amounts of over-the-counter pain medication could be inserted into nanoparticles, before being injected into patients own immune cells, able to transport it through the body to the site of inflammatory pain. 

Optical sensors embedded in bathroom mirrors will monitor for changes in skin colour indicative of poor cardiovascular health. If detected, these will inform the individual’s wearable device, which will then initiate additional monitoring and alert the wearer.

Digital technologies will also become increasingly important in defeating later-life loneliness, shown to be as detrimental to mortality as obesity or cigarette smoking. Robotic technology, already instrumental in keeping older consumers active, will be combined with virtual and augmented reality concepts to enable them to interact with friends, family and robotic companions in a virtual setting – removing geography and mobility as barriers to maintaining social connections.  

Dave Evendon-Challis, VP innovation at RB, said: “What this report makes abundantly clear is that evolving consumer needs and technological advancements are driving change in consumer healthcare. Over the next three decades we’ll see a decisive shift in focus from macro health provision to personalised, data-driven healthcare products and services. To drive this shift we must evolve our approach to innovation and explode disciplinary and organisational siloes to deliver collaboration in the healthcare market.”

Maneesh Juneja, digital health futurist said: “As urbanisation takes hold, people are increasingly living more sedentary and stressful lives, both factors highly associated with chronic pain. Over the next two decades, healthcare innovators will turn to digital technologies to meet the escalating demand for fast, effective pain relief. We’re already seeing phenomenal advances in the field of bioelectronics and fully anticipate a future where miniaturised implantable devices will be injected into the body, reading and correcting electrical signals as they pass along the nervous system.”

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