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Envisioning the future of health technology

Why the future of health?

Technology is the ultimate democratizing force in society. Over time, technology raises lowest common denominators by reducing costs and connecting people across the world. Medical technology is no exception to this trend: previously siloed repositories of information and expensive diagnostic methods are rapidly finding a global reach and enabling both patients and practitioners to make better use of information.

This visualization is an exercise in speculating about which individual technologies are likely to affect the scenario of health in the coming decades. Arranged in six broad areas, the forecast covers a multitude of research and developments that are likely to disrupt the future of healthcare.

Sources and references.

List of startups already working on these technolologies.

Who made this?

This visualization was researched and designed by Michell Zappa and Patrick Schlafer with assistance from Colin Popell of Prokalkeo.

Keynote presentations

Keynote presentations

Custom research

Custom research

Technologies mentioned:


Hopeless searches for matching donors and the irreplaceability of major organs and body parts will fade away as synthetic or grow-to-order organics are further developed.

3D-printed organs, Artificial general-purpose cells, Artificial limbs, Artificial muscles, Artificial retinas, Artificial vascular system, Synthetic & artificial organs, Synthetic blood, Tissue regeneration.


No longer is it sufficient to create and distribute a single 'miracle drug' to an entire population — treatments can be precisely targeted for a person's unique characteristics.

3D printers, 3D-printed drugs, Anti-aging stem-cell treatments, Bioelectronic drugs, Enterotype treatments, Gene therapy, Nanocomposite drug carriers, Personalized medicine, Prenatal gene manipulation, Stem-cell treatments.


Technological replacements to human features can not only restore senses to those without, but could also enhance conventional attributes into remarkable capabilities.

Auditory vision substitution, Augmented hearing, Augmented olfaction, Enhanced metabolism, Exoskeletons, Hybrid assisted limbs, Myoelectric prosthesis, Neuroprosthetics, Optogenetics, Sensory augmentation, Telescopic & microscopic vision.



In coming decades, advances in our understanding of aging will bring us closer to slowing the aging process and to eventually conquer death.

Anti-aging drugs, Cryonics, Full-body cryopreservation, Genetic engineering, Life extension, Reverse cryonics, Suspended animation.


Global networks and mobile technologies remove the necessity for medical practitioners to be in the constant physical presence of their patients to make a diagnosis or perform procedures.

AI therapists, App-driven diagnostics, AR surgery assistance, Data-driven diagnostics, Data-driven patient communities, Full-body simulation, Full-brain simulation, mHealth, Natural language processing, Remote virtual presence, Robotic healthcare assistants, Robotic surgery, Telemetrics, Virtual triage.


The development and distribution of advanced sensors will turn diagnoses from knowledgeable guesses with incomplete information into idiosyncratic, data-driven procedures.

At-home sensors, Big data, Blood stream sensors, Epidermal sensors, External sensors, In-clothes sensors, Ingestible sensors, Internal sensors, Medical tricorder, Non-invasive glucose sensors, Open health records, Question answering computing systems, Rapid gene sequencing, Tissue-embedded sensors.

License & credits

“Envisioning the future of health technology” has a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, which means that you are free to use it as an individual (or in your organization) whichever way you see fit, as long as you credit the authors.


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