The impact of a global pandemic on future patient care and telehealth

Recorded on: April 14, 2020

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In this compelling virtual briefing, Shafi Ahmed, Surgeon and Futurist talks to WIRED’s Editor-in-chief Greg Williams on the future of patient care and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the healthcare system in the short- and long-term.

“One thing we’re seeing – with the worried anxiety of patients – is patients not coming into hospital at the moment because of the worry and fear of COVID-19. […] For example, heart attacks, strokes, patients with surgical problems; there are less emergencies coming in. Where have they all gone, all the patients we see on a day-to-day basis in the emergency system?”

Ahmed says that patients are seeking treatment at a much later stage, meaning that they have more advanced and serious symptoms.

“We have to advise people – despite the COVID-19 – to come in and see doctors as they would normally”.

Ahmed, who cofounded Medical Realities, the company which released the world’s first VR Interactive Surgical Training Module, also shares his insight on the future of medical research, big trends for the health industry in the next few years, and the facilities of the future.

“The first thing we’re going to notice is the way we interact with our patients – we’ll accept that the first point of contact might not be in person.”

Watch the video above for the full 25-minute briefing.

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Watch more of Shafi Ahmed at WIRED Health 2019

Cancer surgeon, teacher, and entrepreneur, Shafi Ahmed is the most watched surgeon in human history using augmented reality. Now, he is building the hospital of the future in Bolivia – a digital hospital with the vision of incorporating voice technology, facial recognition and artificial intelligence. In this video, he talks about the journey and what it entails.

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About Shafi Ahmed:

Professor Shafi Ahmed is a multi-award-winning cancer surgeon, teacher, futurist, innovator and entrepreneur. He is a 3x TEDx and an international keynote speaker and is a faculty at Singularity University.

He has been awarded the accolade of the most-watched surgeon in human history using augmented reality, virtual reality and social media to reach global audiences for his surgical training operations. He is an honorary professor at The University of Bradford. In 2017, he was the top British Asian star in Tech and received this award from HRH the Duke of York. In 2018, he received the Future NHS award from members of parliament. He has been recently appointed as the CEO of the first Digital Hospital in South America.

About WIRED Virtual Briefings:

Designed as an extension of WIRED’s long-running live conference portfolio, WIRED virtual briefings are punchy, deliberate and engaging sessions that reflect the same high calibre of speakers and programming featured at a WIRED event. This briefing is part of the WIRED Insight COVID-19 series, curated by Greg Williams, Editor of WIRED.

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