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The technology horizon

November 14, 2013
The technology horizon report

The technology horizon report

The purpose of our research is not to predict technological developments, but to identify possible areas of change, and to consider the implications for the workforce. The aim of this report is to stimulate thinking around the impact of future technologies on the health and social care workforce. It provides a starting point to consider factors that may influence the requirements, numbers and proportions of the future workforce, which may in turn stimulate changes in education and training, multidisciplinary working or priorities and practices. Further research will include greater analysis of the trends and drivers identified in this report, and we will work with expert stakeholders to examine the workforce implications in more detail.

Authors: Zaichen Lu, Katherine Booth, Matt Edwards, Rafael Popper, Alan Boyd, Barbara Jones, Ian Miles, Monika Popper, Guillermo Velasco

Methodology: The research to date has been produced from an initial web-scanning exercise and documentary analysis to identify the key trends and technology areas in health and social care. This included a literature scan across 28 selected initiatives or agencies from the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment. From this research, five common themes emerged. Each theme and some related technologies are discussed in greater detail in the following sections of this report:

  • Therapeutic technology– technologies used in the treatment of disease and injury, including pharmacological, surgical and psychological therapies. This section discusses regenerative medicine and minimally invasive procedures.
  • Diagnostic technology – technologies for identifying diseases and other conditions. This section discusses nanotechnology and point-ofcare diagnostics.
  • Enabling technology – technologies that mitigate the impact of disease or disability. This section discusses mobile technology, wearable health monitors, and assistive technologies.
  • Preventive technology – technologies that reduce the risk or severity of illness and injury. This section discusses genomics and gaming and education.
  • Organisational technology – technologies supporting alternative health and social care delivery configurations and organisational design. This section discusses integrated big data.
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