Brisbane, 6 September 2022

It may sound like science fiction, but ‘virtual wards’ may become the normal experience for hospital patients suffering from non-urgent chronic conditions in just a few years. In a new report commissioned by one of the world’s largest insurance and assistance companies Allianz Partners, futurist Ray Hammond discusses how the pandemic has dramatically accelerated the projected timeline for many developments in healthcare and medical science delivering new technologies years earlier than predicted.

Increasing acceptance and usage of technology is expected to continue to rapidly evolve healthcare over the coming years. Just like wearables such as smartwatches have become ubiquitous, here are three new technology trends set to revolutionise health and wellbeing in Australia:

  1. Telehealth is here to stay

    Doctors and patients have embraced telehealth with global use of telehealth 78 times higher in February 2021 than it was in 2020. In response, dozens of pay-as-you-go apps have emerged, offering the opportunity for remote consultations with doctors. For patients seeking medical advice in an overloaded primary healthcare system, these on-demand apps provide patients the convenience of same-day consultations without the fear of spreading illnesses to doctors or others they may meet at a clinic.
  2. The rise of virtual wards

    Today, health technology includes devices that offer virtual snapshots of a patient’s vital signs. In the near future, non-critical patients will be able to be treated at home in a virtual ward fitted with an array of on-body sensors including fingertip oximeters that measure blood oxygen levels. Other sensors detect and record pulse rates, body temperature, sleep patterns, blood glucose levels, respiration levels and heart electrical activity.
  3. Personalised healthcare is the next frontier

    The Federal Government’s last budget allocated more than half a billion dollars for COVID MBS PCR tests. Around the country, laboratories have significantly expanded their testing capability to meet demand. In 2020, during the lockdown, the UK health system could perform up to 5,000 COVID tests a day. Since then, a vast diagnostics network has been created allowing up to 1.9 million COVID tests to be performed daily. Some doctors believe that this testing network can be repurposed for other illnesses such as influenza, leading to more efficient and personalised healthcare delivery. By using this new testing structure, persons can be tested for antibodies and only receive vaccines if necessary.

Head of Medical Networks for Allianz Partners Australia Darren Thomas said: “The pandemic has rapidly revolutionised health technology in just over two years resulting in developments being adopted now that would have normally taken 10 to 20 years to evolve. We’re committed to providing a range of healthcare options to our members. We see health technology as providing long-term benefits to members, allowing them to access better healthcare and to live independently.”

The Allianz Partners COVID-19: How it accelerated the Future of Healthcare report is available to read in full online here.


Miette Lelievre, Thrive PR, +614 68340286 or by email
Allianz Partners is a world leader in B2B2C insurance and assistance, offering global solutions that span international health and life, travel insurance, automotive and assistance. Customer driven, our innovative experts are redefining insurance services by delivering future-ready, high-tech high-touch products and solutions that go beyond traditional insurance. Our products are embedded seamlessly into our partners’ businesses or sold directly to customers and are available through four commercial brands: Allianz Assistance, Allianz Automotive, Allianz Travel and Allianz Care. Present in over 75 countries, our 19,400 employees speak 70 languages, handle over 58 million cases each year, and are motivated to go the extra mile to offer peace of mind to our customers around the world.