One day we will all be our own doctors. A fanciful idea of course, but thanks to advances in healthcare and technology, perhaps it’s not so outlandish to assume that things will start moving that way in years to come.
Bosch doesn’t employ the “Invented for life” slogan without a reason and while healthcare may not be its largest sector, it is growing in importance. Look no further, for instance, than the work being done during the Covid pandemic with the company playing a leading role in developing a rapid testing kit for the Vivalytic diagnostic platform that delivers reliable results in less than 30 minutes.
Wearables a smart way forward
While many questions remain, we do know already that smart connected devices, often worn on the body, sometimes aided by sensors embedded in our bodies, are likely to offer patients the possibility to have more control over their health in years to come.
While smart connected wearable devices will be everywhere we look in years to come, the potential for them in healthcare is huge, making AIoT a strong business reason not just for companies like Bosch but also those in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.
“A focus on healthcare is in line with several of our business models where we include Bosch sensors, software, connectivity and service”, says Stockholm-based Ralf Mårtensson, Business Development Manager, Nordic. “And this is certainly a market that is growing, especially in remote care. You can use the products to measure on your own without needing to visit a doctor or a nurse. You can then send the data directly to them from home. In the end, it’s all about how we can implement new solutions with our components, knowledge, software and heritage in IoT and AI,” he adds.
With wearable devices connected to the internet, not only will we be able to diagnose our own symptoms better, but doctors with quick access to data will be able to uncover underlying trends more easily and warn of any impending problems much sooner. And in many cases, this may save lives.
So what kind of things can we expect to see more of in the future? Sensors will certainly be everywhere. Their adaptability means you will see them helping with issues from monitoring the muscle movements of Parkinson’s disease patients, abnormalities in heartbeats, or those in danger of strokes, asthma, and heart and lung diseases. Patients should, as a result, be more mobile and the need for in-person hospital visits can be drastically reduced.
And not just on the body too. In hospitals for example, trackers can be applied to vital machines and essential devices. It will be easier to find them when they’re needed, and the data gathered will help monitor their efficiency.
Bosch has made no secret of the will to devote time and resources into present and future healthcare solutions, some of which also go into the realms of Virtual Reality (VR). Here in the Nordic region, one of many interesting projects is happening in Denmark, where, together with University College Copenhagen and the Roedovre municipality near the Danish capital, Bosch has developed a VR tool for children and young people with ADHD, Asperger and other syndromes.
With the help of a VR headset, they are able to see and practice situations in advance that may stress them in real life. In this case, a group of young adults was successfully trained to travel independently using public transport for the first time in their lives thanks to the “VR Bus Ride” travel training game. With the help of a virtual companion, students navigate themselves through the entire trip, from swiping their transport card to identifying prominent landmarks and upcoming bus stops before eventually identifying the correct destination and completing their journey.
This is just one of many ways where new smart connected devices will boost quality of life not just for patients, but for those treating them too. At Bosch, promoting and developing that process is becoming an ever more vital part of our lives too.