2014: New year promises better medical care through high technology

Marika Sboros | Business Day | December 31, 2013

From smart clothes, to genome editing, cell therapy, patient-centred medical homes, virtual house calls and "benevolent bribes" — 2014 is set to usher in a new era of precise, effective, and best of all, preventative treatments for a range of health problems and diseases.

Technology is at the forefront of the push. It is the main driver analysts have identified as about to make healthcare into a proactive, rather than a reactive industry, as it has been in the past.

This year, Forbes magazine profiled venture capital-backed entrepreneurs in the US, who are leading the way internationally to "bring healthcare into the 21st century, all of whom are seizing on opportunities not even feasible until very recently".

...One trend is new legislation in the US known as the Hitech Act, which is encouraging electronic medical record adoption, and has forced major players such as Amazon’s Web Services to make technology available to those working in healthcare.