London 10th June 2019 – Emerging science and technology will change consumer healthcare as we know it within the next 30 years. This is according to Consumer Health Futures, a report launched today by The Future Laboratory in collaboration with international consumer healthcare company, RB.
Against a backdrop of rapid environmental, socioeconomic and demographic change, the need for innovation within the consumer healthcare space is acute. With input from a panel of world-leading healthcare experts, the report analyses the trends and attitudinal shifts impacting the health and wellbeing of global consumers at every stage of their lives. Through this, it exposes the innovation requirement in consumer healthcare – and predicts how this will be met to empower everyone to take health into their own hands.
Technology delivering healthier lives
As consumer acceptance and expectations of technology grow, it will play an increasing role in consumer healthcare, delivering more accurate diagnoses and effective, personalised solutions with unprecedented speed.
Dr Bertalan Meskó, director of The Medical Futurist Institute, interviewed for the report, describes how wearables will gain in sophistication: “Ingestible and digestible sensors stand to provide access to real-time, high-fidelity data on individuals, helping anyone understand their health. Even more importantly, this understanding has been shown to fuel behavioural change.”
Maneesh Juneja, digital health futurist comments: “As urbanisation takes hold, people are increasingly living more sedentary and stressful lives – both factors highly associated with chronic pain. Over the next two decades, healthcare innovators will turn to digital technologies to meet the escalating demand for fast, effective pain relief. We’re already seeing phenomenal advances in the field of bioelectronics and fully anticipate a future where miniaturised implantable devices will be injected into the body, reading and correcting electrical signals as they pass along the nervous system.”
Microbiome research supporting healthier starts
As the number of children delivered by Caesarean section grows, greater focus will be placed on mitigating the negative impact on the infant’s microbiome.
Marie-Claire Arrieta, microbiome scientist and assistant professor at the University of Calgary explains: “Babies born via C-section have a higher risk of asthma due to the impact on the microbiome, with babies born this way exposed to different bacteria than those born naturally, which can affect gut health throughout life.”
Meeting the challenge of an aging population
As healthy aging emerges as a priority for societies globally, a wealth of healthcare innovations designed for older consumers will materialise.
Dave Evendon-Challis, VP Innovation at RB comments: “What this report makes abundantly clear is that evolving consumer needs and technological advancements are driving change in consumer healthcare. Over the next three decades we’ll see a decisive shift in focus from macro health provision to personalised, data-driven healthcare products and services. To drive this shift we must evolve our approach to innovation and explode disciplinary and organisational siloes to deliver collaboration in the healthcare market.
“This report is our call to arms for academics, entrepreneurs, subject matter experts and innovators to partner with us to improve the health and wellbeing of consumers at every stage of their lives.”
To partner with RB, email email@example.com or www.rb.com/innovation
 The human body is host to several communities of micro-organisms, such as bacteria, single-celled organisms called archaea, fungi, viruses and other microbes. Together, these form the body’s microbiota. The human microbiome is a collective name for all the genes within the microbiota.
 According to the UK’s Royal Collage of General Practitioners, loneliness makes a person 50% more likely to die prematurely than people with a healthy social network.