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We’re creative futurists at Swagger. And we’re smart ones at that. We’re always on the lookout for future products, trends, and behaviors. What’s in the when, not just the now. We chat about stuff like that at our Future Cafés, a weekly internal pow-wow where our crew gathers to debate the pros and cons of the latest futuristic news. It’s a mission of ours to keep up with these things. Here are the ones we found most share-worthy.

What You Need to Know about the Future (Part VIII)

September 5, 2018

Future of Mobile Cardiology: Smart Devices and mHealth (Medgadget)
In many cases, we don’t experience symptoms until a problem becomes serious. Just imagine, having a device that not only alerts you of when to exercise, or take your medicine, but also sends data to your cardiologist on a daily basis and can help prevent further heart issues from developing. Additionally, the introduction of implantable devices and their connected apps means better monitoring and health maintenance with less invasiveness for the patient. This will reduce the complications associated with some medical procedures and speed up recovery time.

Study Explores Whether AI Is the Future of Early Cancer Detection (DOTmed)
As with all breakthroughs in AI, they’re designed to achieve for users what humans can’t accomplish alone or what would take them a long time to accomplish. With colonoscopies, what used to be an invasive biopsy procedure has turned into a less invasive optical scan. Having a doctor with experience in visual detection is the most important factor in identifying and removing potentially cancerous colorectal polyps. In the prospective study, the AI-assisted system could correctly predict cancerous polyps with 86% accuracy. It was able to do this by comparing 30,000 endocytoscopic images so it could predict the lesion pathology. This happened all in real-time. Removing the doctor from the identification process means cancer treatment can potentially utilize less human resources.

In a ‘Buy Now’ World, How Can Healthcare Providers Better Serve Patients? (MedCityNews)
Healthcare costs are skyrocketing. Combine that with an aging millennial cohort whose spending patterns have dramatically changed, and you’ll get an industry in flux. Healthcare providers have streamlined their back-of-house operations but not the front-end. Everything from increased access, to lower costs, to consumer transparency will have to change for healthcare providers to acquire and retain this new demographic group that will require more healthcare in the future. Technocratic fixes can only get you so far, though, as public policy changes could mean far greater positive effects for healthcare in the future. It’s not so much a market inefficiency problem fixable through technological innovations but a decision by lawmakers to treat healthcare like a public good, part and parcel with our country’s GDP.

Paging Doctor Data: Machine Learning and the Future of Healthcare (Northeastern)
Physicians can only make the right decisions in their patients’ diagnoses if they have the right data. As complex as the human body is, separating the signal from the noise is an important part of making those right decisions. In the past, this has meant physicians leveraging their education and experience to correctly identify cancerous cells or disease patterns. With AI implementing deep learning, computer scientists and medical researchers are set to uncover deeper structure in data so physicians can personalize and improve patient care using the same technology that has previously been used to track and predict consumer shopping patterns. But unlike buying the cheapest toilet paper roll or the best-reviewed gizmo, customer satisfaction is not counted by stars but by healthy, productive people.

How a New Technology Is Changing the Lives of People Who Cannot Speak (The Guardian)
Nothing is more humanizing than hearing a calming human voice. Losing that human voice due to motor neurone disease, traumatic brain injury, stroke, or anatomical excisions can be a harrowing experience. Speech production devices already exist but VocaliD is changing the game by capturing and digitizing pre-existing patients’ human voice recordings. The digital track combines the vocal bank of vowel and consonant sounds recorded prior to losing their ability to speak. VocaliD’s innovation allows for patients with speech deficiencies to retain a part of their humanity, something we wish all technology could help us achieve.

[EDitor’s Note]: 

If we can just hang on for a few more years, the average person may go from living 80 or 90 years to well beyond the estimated 120-year threshold. Maybe even becoming immortal!

From developments in artificial body part replacement and cybernetics to solving the problem of aging and “hacking longevity,” our society is on the verge of major breakthroughs. As people extend their lifespan and livelihood, how they spend that extra time, whether working, playing, consuming, or creating, will also change. Ultimately, what we do as marketers will also be dramatically affected.

—Ed Cantú, strategic director

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