Current and Future Challenges in Point-of-Care Technologies: A Paradigm-Shift in Affordable Global Healthcare With Personalized and Preventive Medicine
This paper summarizes the panel discussion at the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Point-of-Care Healthcare Technology Conference (POCHT 2013) held in Bangalore India from Jan 16–18, 2013. Modern medicine has witnessed interdisciplinary technology innovations in healthcare with a continuous growth in life expectancy across the globe. However, there is also a growing global concern on the affordability of rapidly rising healthcare costs. To provide quality healthcare at reasonable costs, there has to be a convergence of preventive, personalized, and precision medicine with the help of technology innovations across the entire spectrum of point-of-care (POC) to critical care at hospitals. The first IEEE EMBS Special Topic POCHT conference held in Bangalore, India provided an international forum with clinicians, healthcare providers, industry experts, innovators, researchers, and students to define clinical needs and technology solutions toward commercialization and translation to clinical applications across different environments and infrastructures. This paper presents a summary of discussions that took place during the keynote presentations, panel discussions, and breakout sessions on needs, challenges, and technology innovations in POC technologies toward improving global healthcare. Also presented is an overview of challenges and trends in developing and developed economies with respect to priority clinical needs, technology innovations in medical devices, translational engineering, information and communication technologies, infrastructure support, and patient and clinician acceptance of POC healthcare technologies.