From the enormous health benefits that will come with electrification and reduced air pollution from traffic, to the improved safety of autonomous vehicles and the integration of healthcare sensors into our vehicles, the future of mobility offers significant opportunities for the healthcare sector.
Click on each of the sections below to understand how emerging mobility trends could impact the healthcare sector in the near, medium and long-term future.
Changing healthcare spend on air pollution related diseases: Falling sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles will save the UK an estimated £6bn from health bills related to air pollution. Approximately 40,000 premature deaths per annum in the UK can be linked to air pollution.
E-call available in all vehicles: E-call is an EU initiative to install a device in vehicles that automatically transmits a distress signal to emergency services in the event of airbag deployment. It promises to reduce emergency services response time to incidents and therefore save lives.
Improved driver & passenger safety from Autonomous Vehicle (AV) systems: AVs could reduce road accidents by removing or reducing the part played by human error, potentially mitigating up to 80% of accidents.
Integration of vehicle health data with apps and wearables: Vehicles could be equipped with sensors to monitor the health and wellbeing of drivers and passengers. This could be part of a broader ecosystem of devices, including wearables and mobile health apps that work together.
Healthcare sensors applied to vehicles: AVs (Level 4) could reduce accidents and enable mobile clinics, which could reduce demand on medical care centres from road traffic accidents (For more information on levels of driving automation, view SAE International's J3016 automated-driving graphic update). Medical appointments could take place in AVs with vital sign monitoring technology and 5G connectivity.
In-pod physicians and pharmacists: In a connected vehicle with health sensors it may be possible to conduct remote GP appointments while on the move. Alternatively, ambulances or vehicles could be equipped with self-diagnosis equipment and even remotely authorised dispensaries to enable efficient delivery of medical services to remote locations.
Reduced driver stress from AVs: Incidents, such as traffic and road accidents, contribute to daily stress for drivers. AVs could significantly reduce such journey-related stress.
New drug delivery models: Drugs could be delivered via a ‘smart’ kerb, drone or AV, significantly disrupting healthcare business models.
Easier mobility access for recovering, disabled and elderly: Affordable and shared AV mobility technology could greatly improve the independence and quality of life of the disabled, those recovering from surgery or the elderly. Specialist vehicles with mobility equipment (and even robotic assistance and over-air monitoring) could allow these users to continue to participate in errands and social life.