Healthcare futures

Healthcare Now: Trailer

What will the Austrian healthcare system of the future look like?

Financial pressure on social healthcare systems rises with growing population and an increasingly competitive economy. Efficiency is pushed to new limits by currently ongoing reforms to the medical system, resulting in changing social structures and the introduction of new technologies. Amid the turmoil, doctors and patients struggle to maintain a personal relationship.

Where will the optimization and standardization end? What will happen to our medical data? How far will we go to ensure financially independent and affordable medical care for everybody? A series of videos illustrate
three possibilities and consequences of the future we might be building right now, questioning our choices.

Are we making the right decisions? If not, how could we change our course towards a more desirable future?

Healthcare Now 1
TEMED Transcripts

Based on a multitude of changes and trends described in the trailer, the first video in the series about the future of healthcare in Austria introduces the topic with a focus on human agency in a machine world.

The first-stop call center is the only remaining gate opener now – this is where you enter the system.

Your data is automatically recorded and connected to large-scale information systems. Every person has a digital patient file, an e-medication profile that can be accessed online. The data is anonymously sold to third parties in order to ensure solid and affordable state-financed healthcare for the country’s population.

How much human agency is allowed for in an automated system?

Two versions of the same truth could lead to different outcomes: What if a patient file contained a previous call protocol suggesting the third patient in the video might not be fully accountable. It’s up to the human operator to make decisions – the human operator who cannot scan the entire history in a split second, or might miss a crucial bit of information.

Healthcare Now 2
Anything You Say Can And Will be Held Against You

Based on current changes and trends described in the introduction, the second video in the series about the future of healthcare in Austria focuses on the changing doctor-patient relationship and responsibility.

Like the first episode, it shows a possible future of a current medical system. This time the spotlight is set on the online patient files currently in development.

The video focuses on the communication between doctor and patient, exploring how the presence of intelligent surveillance and recording technology changes their interaction. The initial script had the doctor and the patient uniting to oppose control, but shifting responsibility to the patient offered an unusual perspective by changing hierarchy.

What will the future role of the doctor be?

Conceptual technologies as physically manifested objects become experienceable future possibilities: A doctor’s table from the future illustrates a possible reality – a prop to sit down at and experience the atmosphere personally.

Read more about the table and  alternative versions of surveillance here.

Healthcare Now 3
What Would You Do?

The third video in the series addresses the possible consequences of big data and standardization.

The final video is a PS of sorts that finishes the road patients take through the healthcare system of the future.

After Healthcare 1 and 2 centering on interaction, 3 is close-up and personal, offering no dialogue: one individual struggle.

The future illustrated proposes big data as the financial pillar on which Austria manages to maintain a social state. While the first two episodes demonstrate data collection, the final video shows the way it is processed and applied.

We are not aware of what the consequences of providing our medical information to unknown players in a complex system of questionable transparency might be. By releasing it to third parties, even anonymously, we may have to deal with unexpected decisions made and adhere to rules determined based on the data we provide.
As Efficiency slowly replaces individuality, patient data becomes a currency, numbers calculating new medical standards, the quantified patients become the unwitting creators of their circumstances