Mapping Healthcare’s Digital Destiny

G5 Partners’ Doug Given attended the Imec Technology Forum in Antwerp last quarter, where visionaries from around the world discussed the future of technology and how innovation is best brought to market in application domains such as health.

Viewing through the prism of Health2047’s mission to meet healthcare transformation challenges and opportunities, Doug was struck by several concepts circulating at the forum:

  • Information security will get worse (for next 3–5 years) before it gets better. Conference consensus indicated profligate first-generation IoT deployments have ushered in true crises, as they have supplied seemingly unlimited attack points. Further, there is a costly and breathtakingly large impact aligned directly to digital health breaches, with stolen records valued at $100 PHR (and rising). Advocacy for much more stringent IoT manufacture and deployment standards, as well as greater use of personal keys, two-factor authentication, and multi-level security protocols leveraging identifiers such as location tracking were among ameliorating techniques discussed.
  • Neuromorphic computing and AI present the biggest potential frontiers, and speakers discussed how such technologies are giving birth to entirely new architectures and interfaces that will revolutionize human thinking, outcomes, and actions. Hardware and software interplay, issues of latency, bandwidth, wireless and network evolution…all play a part in these new architectures, as do algorithmic innovation. There exists a future solution space stemming from smart semiconductors, which can weave knowledge gold out of data lead, actuating quantum computers (viable by 2025), unhackable security, neuromorphic characteristics, and digital-physical interfaces. Interesting use cases included the development of machine learning training sets that have enabled real-time, nine-language translation capabilities, and AR/VR status video examples that showed remarkable progress in display, camera, and signal processing producing dramatically improved immersive image quality of content.
  • The need for a Digital Geneva Convention may be imminent to constrain government surveillance of citizens, who are increasingly being hacked by nation states in peacetime (consider what the NSA mantra: “collect all, know all, exploit all” means for individuals in the digital age). Big data means bigger breaches and bigger risks to privacy; balancing the needs and rights of individuals, technology companies, governments, and law enforcement requires rethinking architecture and embracing more secure building blocks, particularly in regard to health information, as well as establishing robust auditing of all information access capabilities.

You can read more of Doug’s takeaways from the Imec Technology Forum on Health2047’s blog here.