While the realisation dawns that the general high tech world is running out of things to say, it does not mean that there is no excitement in arenas powered by technology. For instance, it is no surprise that big tech companies are piling into healthcare.
Look at the advances (some almost miraculous) that have happened in healthcare in the last few years and the wallowing about with 5G seems pointless in comparison.
The UK’s BBC describe some of last year’s breakthroughs as ‘Man on the Moon’ moments and some of them are just that significant.
- An exoskeleton that allows a quadriplegic to walk
- Rewiring nerves so that they send signals to prosthetic devices
- Switching off a gene to reverse hitherto untreatable rare diseases
- A drug designed specifically for one girl with a rare brain disease (it worked)
- Using viruses themselves to attack disease (more recently still, the flu jab might be a powerful weapon against cancer)
- A raft of new and exciting cancer treatments
- Drugs that slow dementia
- Learning how to keep a brain alive for four hours after death
- Wiring up the brain so that thoughts become words
While we were focusing on whether 5G should move to the edge and be enabled by microcells and vRAN superchargers, the healthcare industry has been innovating like, well, like there is a tomorrow.
Little wonder then, that as smartphones and the frippery that they bring (OK, useful stuff too) are no longer being renewed every year, that Apple, Google and the rest in the hunt for new revenue, are getting very serious about healthcare. Tim Cook, Apple CEO, has said that healthcare is Apple’s next big opportunity and when a company of that size says something like that, you know they are serious. Some predict that Apple’s Healthcare division could bring in $313 billion by 2027.
Of course the downside to the story is that we are all going to live longer and we are going to have to figure out how we fund that not inconsiderable problem. Some might say that we are already bankrupt before we start.
The point, for now, is that healthcare, not tech, is doing what every Sales Manager will tell you to do “don’t tell me, show me”.
It is certainly an example to follow.