For most people, the Gold Coast is synonymous with theme parks, warm weather, tourists, Cavill Avenue and stunning beaches.

However, you could add education to that list as the second-largest city in Queensland will soon host the Gold Coast Health & Knowledge Precinct (GCHKP) — a major innovation hub in the Asia-Pacific region designed to house high tech development and research. The $5 billion investment in infrastructure on the site will include two hospitals and a leading university, with a specific emphasis on jobs of the future.

A recent collaboration between GCHKP, KPMG and Study Gold Coast produced a report to investigate the talent pool available for international businesses planning on operate out of the precinct and identify skills that will be relevant to employees in the future.

The general skills sought by organisations were a combination of “science, engineering digital design, and the creative use of big data and artificial intelligence (AI)”, as well as exposure to industry systems and programs. From the health perspective, bio-specific knowledge will be integral in the future – experience in biotechnology, bioinformatics and biomedical engineering will be highly sought after.

More specifically, “computer programming, statistical analysis/data visualisation, actuarial science, digital design and 3D printing, medical imaging, biomedical engineering and clinical psychology” are specialist areas expected to be in high demand. Considering that the next decade should see the continuation of treatment innovation surrounding precision medicine, wearables, human augmentation and 3D printing, graduates need to be adequately skilled to thrive in the industry.

Precision medicine

Also known as personalised medicine, this incorporates data on lifestyle, genes and environment to develop treatment plans and disease prevention. Technologies such as GeneSight help medical professionals prescribe psychiatric medication based on the patient’s genomic makeup.

Wearables

The prevalence of devices such as Fitbits and the Apple Watch reflects a society that is becoming more conscious of their health. Wearables, digestible and implantables will be further refined and advanced to deliver increasingly accurate, useful information, and allow improved collaboration between patients and professionals.

Human augmentation

Health is benefiting from the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), which allows practice scenarios to be conducted with little or no risk. This is common in training and education, with VR pain relief and surgery simulations just the beginning of what could become available with this kind of technology.

3D Printing

This is one of the most exciting innovations in modern medicine. 3D-printed casts can heal bones up to 80 per cent faster than their traditional counterparts, pills can be customised in different shapes to change release rates and synthetic organs will benefit surgeons greatly.

 

With a predicted 250,000 new jobs in the healthcare industry by 2022 and an array of exciting treatment innovations in the pipeline, now is as good a time as ever to pursue a career in health. Learn more at the Gold Coast ACS Seminar, where the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct will be presenting.

Useful Links:

Calling all aspiring biomedical innovators and medtech entrepreneurs!

Is Canberra Australia’s next big start-up hub?

Wearables: How they are used now and how they will be used in the future

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