By Savi Baveja, chief strategy & incubation officer, HP Inc.
One lesson rising above all others today, is that nothing is more personal than our health. Yet, after decades of focus and ambition from all arms of the healthcare ecosystem, it’s evident that creating more convenient and personalized solutions is going to take new levels of innovation and new types of collaboration, with potentially unexpected partners.
Solutions to achieve the industry’s vision for personalized healthcare are already well underway with precision medicine, although primarily discussed for in vivo applications. Now rising are extracorporeal solutions which leverage technology including additive manufacturing, microfluidics, machine learning, and digital interfaces to meet the demands of a more personalized world.
Healthcare innovators are looking outside of their traditional life sciences ecosystems to identify companies that can accelerate this reality more quickly. Today, technology is the central engine driving players from different industries to team up to create personalized devices and utilize data and analytics to make a real impact for patients seeking care. And while tech companies like HP may not be a household name in healthcare, our organization has been working alongside the medical sector for decades — from creating pulse oximeters in the 1970’s to protect the health of astronauts exploring the moon to cutting-edge bioprinters which dispense picolitre sized samples of analytes and reagents (and soon, even individual cells) to create breakthrough productivity for researchers. It all stems from our deep curiosity about applying HP’s expertise in new ways that will make life better for people — and that same curiosity-led innovation has turned into a muscle inside HP.
Applications of breakthrough technologies like 3D printing and microfluidics are starting to realize the better outcomes that have long been promised of personalized medicine. At hundreds of hospitals, in-house 3D printing labs use HP technology to print complex congenital models including scoliotic spines, congenital defect cardiac models, and many other surgical models and guides. We are also seeing rapid innovation in microfluidics and MEMS technologies, creating palm sized molecular diagnostic devices that enable rapid and highly accurate home-based testing, and breakthrough sensors like our nanofinger-based SERS sensors that detect biological metabolites and environmental contaminants without requiring expensive lab equipment and personnel.
Then there is the incredible work happening at companies including Adaptiiv, Hulotech, HeyGears, and ProsFit to print improved and personalized prosthetics, casts, splints, orthotics, baby helmets, prescription eyewear, and other assistive technology. We’re seeing rapid progress in casting and splinting, giving physicians more control in a patient’s recovery process or better solutions for parents who need to support their children on a path to recovery from deformity — lightweight, personal equipment that helps the patient recover because they’re easier to integrate into normal routines, easier to wear and more comfortable — all things that matter when you’re living day-to-day on a personal health journey.
The demand is already substantial — the personalized medical solutions market, inclusive of personalized orthotics and prosthetics, is valued at approximately $10 billion — and the need is growing at an exponential clip. The WHO estimates that one billion people need assistive products today and more than two billion people around the world are expected to need at least one assistive product by 2030.
At HP, we are committed to creating technology in the service of the billions of people seeking relief from illness, pain, and discomfort through the revolution of personalized care. The work happening today is truly transformative. Technological innovations are helping providers begin to deliver on the promise of personalized medicine — from the miracles of 3D printing and the affordable pain reduction of custom orthotics to the promise of microfluidics. This is just the beginning.
Savi Baveja is Chief Strategy & Incubation Officer at HP Inc., focused on unlocking high-value growth through business transformation, disruption, and new business incubations. Baveja oversees corporate strategy, innovation, corporate incubation, venture investment, and performance optimization across the business.