Data and the future of the physiotherapy profession!

We need to talk about data” was the title of the focused symposium that I took part in at the recent WCPT Congress alongside esteemed colleagues Heidi Jannenga, Andrew Walton and Karim Khan.  My role was to talk about how data may influence the future of our profession.

Using data to develop healthcare solutions using artificial intelligence is hot. There is currently a lot of money going into this kind of work and the investment is expected to reach $6.6 billion by 2021, and it is predicted that the top AI applications may result in annual health care savings of $150 billion by 2026.

As a profession we have a history of being slow to adopt new technology.  Now is not the time to sit by and watch what happens in this field. This is happening now, this will impact our practice and we all need to get involved otherwise someone else will do it for us!

This video took centre stage during my presentation:

It isn’t as far fetched as you might think, this is all happening in health care now.  I could have used more imagination and gone quite a lot further and in several different directions with this video.  The scariest scenario is that we, the physios, are replaced by AI. This may happen if we don’t get involved to prove our value.  The most favourable outcome is that we learn to work with the machines and the AI so that our human ability is augmented. We become more efficient and more effective which we hope will reduce cost and inefficiencies in healthcare.

It’s a rapidly advancing data story that is coming from the health tech world and it’s time to get involved!