The future of health? It’s here

The future of health? It’s here

As you look to make a difference in health, here’s what the future has in store

Imagine a computer that can identify skin cancer through photo analysis alone. Imagine being able to predict how and when your patients will get sick, or integrated data sets that deliver previously unknown insights into population health.

Student learning from an academic in clinical lab

Vital careers that won’t disappear

With a health career, you’ll always be in high demand. According to the World Health Organization, the global health workforce is made up of 43 million people. But in a world where we need nearly 5 health workers per 1000 population, that equates to a shortage of more than 17 million. Developing countries are the hardest hit, but countries like Australia and the US are also not immune, especially when it comes to looking after our ageing citizens. The upshot? With the shortage set to continue, health professionals from all disciplines will have the chance to make a real difference in both the developing world and right here at home.

Here come the machines

There’s no doubt that the rise of technology is having a rapid – and significant – impact on global health care delivery. The good news? New technologies are emerging largely as a complement to human contributions to health – so rather than being replaced by robots, you’ll be working with them instead. Think ‘deep learning’ diagnostic tools that can identify disease through advanced image analysis; telehealth tools that can transport health expertise around the world; artificial intelligence that can help even the most remotely located patients manage their lifestyle and connect with health professionals; and automatic treatment tools that deliver specified drug doses based on an individual patient’s vital signs.

Student learning from an academic in clinical lab
Student learning from an academic in clinical lab

Personalised medicine, tailored treatments

Personalised medicine is about delivering treatments that are tailored to the individual, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Today, we know more about the human body at the molecular level than ever before, and we can combine a wealth of information sources – think genomics, proteomics, systems biology, and bioinformatics, to name a few – to deliver even more precise treatment options for a wide range of health conditions. Interpreting patient data, delivering genomic tests and advocating for patients will become standard practice for clinicians, while health services managers will play a key role in preparing the health workforce to rise to the challenges that personalised medicine presents.

Big data for smarter public health

Everyone’s unique – but we’re all part of something bigger, too. And nowhere is this more evident than in the rise of big data for smarter public health. Big datasets that encompass population-level information are giving us deep insights into disease patterns, trends and outcomes. From patient medical records that can now be analysed en masse to socioeconomic, environmental and health behaviour information that’s intrinsically linked to health and disease outcomes, these ever-increasing quantities of data will change how we approach health policy and practice.

Student learning from an academic in clinical lab
Student learning from an academic in clinical lab

Redrawing professional boundaries

Patient needs are becoming ever-more complex – we’re suffering more lifestyle-related diseases, more complications as a result of living longer, and ever-increasing rates of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. As a result, health roles are changing; gone are the days when a doctor could treat everything that ailed you. Instead, team-based and interdisciplinary staffing models are the new standard for effective and economical patient centred care. Each team member is recognised for the unique skill set they have to offer, and are encouraged to work to the extent of their scope of practice so that patients receive the right care from the right person at the right time, from the point of conception until end of life.

Future proof your career

UTS offers a range of postgraduate courses in nursing, midwifery, public health, palliative care, diabetes education and management and health services management.

As you look to make a difference in health, here’s what the future has in store

Imagine a computer that can identify skin cancer through photo analysis alone. Imagine being able to predict how and when your patients will get sick, or integrated data sets that deliver previously unknown insights into population health.

Vital careers that won’t disappear

With a health career, you’ll always be in high demand. According to the World Health Organization, the global health workforce is made up of 43 million people. But in a world where we need nearly 5 health workers per 1000 population, that equates to a shortage of more than 17 million. Developing countries are the hardest hit, but countries like Australia and the US are also not immune, especially when it comes to looking after our ageing citizens. The upshot? With the shortage set to continue, health professionals from all disciplines will have the chance to make a real difference in both the developing world and right here at home.

Here come the machines

There’s no doubt that the rise of technology is having a rapid – and significant – impact on global health care delivery. The good news? New technologies are emerging largely as a complement to human contributions to health – so rather than being replaced by robots, you’ll be working with them instead. Think ‘deep learning’ diagnostic tools that can identify disease through advanced image analysis; telehealth tools that can transport health expertise around the world; artificial intelligence that can help even the most remotely located patients manage their lifestyle and connect with health professionals; and automatic treatment tools that deliver specified drug doses based on an individual patient’s vital signs.

Personalised medicine, tailored treatments

Personalised medicine is about delivering treatments that are tailored to the individual, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Today, we know more about the human body at the molecular level than ever before, and we can combine a wealth of information sources – think genomics, proteomics, systems biology, and bioinformatics, to name a few – to deliver even more precise treatment options for a wide range of health conditions. Interpreting patient data, delivering genomic tests and advocating for patients will become standard practice for clinicians, while health services managers will play a key role in preparing the health workforce to rise to the challenges that personalised medicine presents.

Big data for smarter public health

Everyone’s unique – but we’re all part of something bigger, too. And nowhere is this more evident than in the rise of big data for smarter public health. Big datasets that encompass population-level information are giving us deep insights into disease patterns, trends and outcomes. From patient medical records that can now be analysed en masse to socioeconomic, environmental and health behaviour information that’s intrinsically linked to health and disease outcomes, these ever-increasing quantities of data will change how we approach health policy and practice.

Redrawing professional boundaries

Patient needs are becoming ever-more complex – we’re suffering more lifestyle-related diseases, more complications as a result of living longer, and ever-increasing rates of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. As a result, health roles are changing; gone are the days when a doctor could treat everything that ailed you. Instead, team-based and interdisciplinary staffing models are the new standard for effective and economical patient centred care. Each team member is recognised for the unique skill set they have to offer, and are encouraged to work to the extent of their scope of practice so that patients receive the right care from the right person at the right time, from the point of conception until end of life.

Future proof your career

UTS offers a range of postgraduate courses in nursing, midwifery, public health, palliative care, diabetes education and management and health services management.