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Part 2: From aerospace to medical technology, forecasts for 2019

In the second of two blogs, leading technical experts and academics in their fields, and all Senior Members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), have come up with some predictions for next year.

In the first blog we looked at security, 5G and artificial intelligence, here we assess developments in aerospace and medical technology.

The convergence of healthcare and technology has been occurring over many years and this will accelerate further in 2019 as hardware is able to do more, analyse data faster and pressure on medical resources increases.

According to Paul Kostek, a Senior Systems Engineer at Base 2 Solutions, next year will see:

  • Improved sensors that can be attached to patients to monitor health and activity.
  • Expansion of the use of wearable monitors (e.g. Apple Watch) to allow patients to track their health and provide information to their doctors.
  • Sensors that can be ingested and used to track a patients health and dispense meds
  • Expanded use of AI with robotic surgery improving results and decreasing errors.
  • Use of AR/VR for training simulations for surgeons, nurses and EMTs. Following the model of aircraft simulators, medical industry will expand the use of simulation for training.


As our skies become busier and we look to travel further, cause less environmental damage and ease congestion on our roads, how we travel through the skies will evolve.

Paul Kostek, Senior Systems Engineer at Base 2 Solutions, believes that next year we will see:

  • Expanded use of drones, particularly in commercial business use. Amazon talked about it, but others are doing it first
  • Drone delivery of everything from blood (Zipline in Africa) to car parts (ZF of Germany)
  • In the USA, we will see new regulation opening up air space. This could be the big year for commercial space companies, finally getting tourists into space, or at least lower earth orbit
  • Virgin Galatic will be the first to offer consumer travel into space, with Blue Origin following. The next challenge will be integrating regular space runs into the National Airspace in the USA.
  • Continued growth of launches of small satellites will increase demand for launches by operators such as Space-X and increase need for ground operations to support all of the data returned from space.
  • Progress on flying taxis, in order for Uber to meet its goal of flying in 2020. Establishing safe performance, through testing and demonstrations will need to appear if they are going to launch and actually have customers in 2020.

Neil Tyler

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