Research by University College London (UCL) suggests the number of people needing daily support will increase by 25% from 2015 to 2025, as health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure become more prevalent. The future home is likely to include intuitive technology such as smart mirrors and bathmats that prompt small daily changes to improve overall health, or smart toilets that analyse residents’ waste to detect diseases or encourage changes in diet or lifestyle. By 2050, we will be in dialogue with this technology. It will personalise its tone of voice to suit the age, personality and needs of a home’s residents, making people more attuned to its advice and suggestions.
These innovations are not just a thing of the future, however. UCL researchers are already developing wearable devices that collect data and help detect various diseases, allowing for earlier diagnosis, more personalised treatment and even preventative healthcare.
Thought-starter: What are the opportunities for innovation and closer collaboration between product and appliance manufacturers and health tech companies to make home-based healthcare a reality?
As climate disasters become commonplace, urban spaces will be the most sustainable environments for humans to live. The World Bank estimates that more than 140m people across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America will become climate migrants by 2050, most moving to cities as the land becomes unworkable and uninhabitable. With cities more densely populated than before, individuals will seek to build close connections with their local communities, fuelling a new drive towards civic and environmental responsibility.
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