Emerging technology for the future of health and social care

Emerging technology for the future of health and social care

From biomedicine and 3D printed implants to data collection and virtual care, RMIT experts discuss how emerging technologies are shaping the sector and helping solve our most complex health challenges.

Like many sectors, healthcare is undergoing rapid change.

The advancement of new technologies and discoveries are fundamentally changing how we prevent, diagnose and treat diseases, as well as the relationship between medical professionals and patients.

Professor Vishaal Kishore is the director of RMIT’s Cisco supported Health Transformation Lab and says the current health pandemic has revealed certain dynamics in the healthcare system that demand attention.

“In this uncertain world, individuals, societies, and economies are being dragged into an entirely new and tumultuous future which is testing existing structures, practices and capacities,” he says.

“The intersection of technology and ‘the human’ in our health and social systems is coming to the fore, from new forms of digital tracking, tracing and risk analysis technologies to models of virtualised and mobilised healthcare.”

He cautioned that while exciting, technology alone is not enough, with the human skills that practitioners bring being crucial to enabling us to bring new technology solutions into the system.

03 June 2020


Professor Vishaal Kishore is the director of RMIT’s Cisco supported Health Transformation Lab.

Biomedical engineer and Associate Professor Kate Fox says the challenge is more technical and her work in bioprinting and diamond implants is shaping her field.

“Bioprinting is rapidly advancing and skin, kidneys and hollow vessels can be readily printed which takes pressure off other solutions like autographs, allographs and animal tissue,” she says.

“As engineering dips further into applications of the human body and new manufacturing techniques are developed such as additive manufacturing, new materials are being sought to provide new interfaces.”

“Diamond is one such material. Currently you will find diamond already being used in surgical cutting blades and, strangely enough, as the electrode array in bionic implants.”

“If you’d asked me 20 years ago if we’d be able to make a kidney in a dish, I would have laughed at you. I can’t predict what’s coming next in biomed and that’s really exciting to me.”

Biomedical engineer Associate Professor Kate Fox.

Distinguished Professor Milan Brandt is the technical director of RMIT’s Advanced Manufacturing Precinct and he has been recognised for his work on Australia’s first locally-made 3D printed spinal implant.

“Additive manufacturing is now rising in importance globally because of the many benefits it offers industry compared to conventional manufacturing. These include greater product diversity, product design and development, time to market, lower waste and product cost.”

“At RMIT we’re researching the design, manufacture and mechanical performance of these structures for a range of applications, in particular new generation medical implants.”

“The long-term goal is to establish local manufacturing capability for these types of implants which will deliver better patient outcomes at a lower cost to Australia’s health care system.”

Distinguished Professor Milan Brandt, technical director of RMIT’s Advanced Manufacturing Precinct.
03 June 2020


Kishore said this cross-sector, cross—discipline approach to collaboration and solving real world problems is what he sees as they great opportunity for the advancement of health and social care.

“The future of health technology isn’t going to be driven just by technologists. Every tech solution is actually a socio-technological solution – and their development demands involvement of people and communities and societies and different forms of knowledge.”

“If there is one thing we have learned about health innovation it is this: it is a team sport.”


Register to attend the next #RMITechMatters live webinar on the future of design on 11 June 2020. 


Story: Grace Taylor

  • Research
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • Science and technology
  • Advanced Materials
  • Industry

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