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SXSW – Is Science Fiction becoming Science Fact in Healthcare?

Elysium and the blurry line.

At SXSW, the CEO of medtech pioneer,, Dr. Aengus Tran, the CEO of the Tech Council of Australia, Kate Pounder, and the CMO of Microsoft ANZ, Dr. Simon Kos, delved into the intriguing world where the lines between science fiction and science fact blur in healthcare.

Science fiction has a knack for envisioning the future, and Dr. Aengus Tran shared a personal connection. As a medical student, he was captivated by the movie “Elysium,” where a machine scans the body, diagnoses, and treats diseases. Watching it, he said: “That’s the software that I want to build.” 

A pressing issue they addressed is the increasing shortage of medical practitioners worldwide, as well as the massive disparity in the distribution of medical care. Many countries allocate a substantial portion of their taxes to fund healthcare, yet the demand and costs continue to rise. 

In addressing healthcare inequality on a global scale, the panel emphasised that AI’s integration can empower healthcare practitioners. According to them, it’s not about replacing doctors with AI, as patients value the human touch and the significance of trust and relationships in healthcare. 

Doctors working alongside AI are poised to be safer and more effective, allowing them to focus on meaningful discussions, empathy, and helping patients make  informed choices, while AI takes charge of interpretation and diagnostic accuracy. 

Looking ahead, the vision is a world where hospitals become the exception, rather than the norm, and where the spotlight shifts from disease treatment to wellness and prevention, reshaping the future of healthcare.