Professionals agree technology will deliver significant advances in healthcare but barriers exist, according to new research

But 70% are concerned about the time required to learn necessary new skills technology will demand

A world where people have greater access to healthcare and are treated by tailor-made medication is not as far away as we think. According to new research by Epson, 64% of those currently in healthcare express positive sentiment[1] when discussing the benefits technology and greater access to data could bring to the medical profession. But while 67% of respondents agreed that data privacy may hold back the implementation of technology, 47% agreed that a loss of data privacy is an acceptable trade-off for improved diagnosis and treatment. However, this was not the only hurdle raised by respondents. Most worrying was the fear of the time and the cost requirements it would take to prepare today’s medical professionals for a future where they are better equipped to manage this technology and its opportunities. 

The research, which tested the acceptance of insights from 17 global industry experts among more than 7,000 full-time employees in Europe, including 1,200 working in the healthcare sector, found that technologies such as 3D printing, robotics, augmented reality and artificial intelligence would bring substantial benefits to patient and professional lives.

“There has never been a more pressing time for healthcare to fast track its technology uptake,” says Epson Global President, Mr. Minoru Usui. “With the growing burden of chronic diseases and rising ageing populations, we must transform healthcare into an era of illness prevention rather than cure -- a brave new step for an industry based on diagnostics and treatment.”

In fact, 72% of medical professionals agreed that 3D, organic and bio printing would reduce surgery waiting times and a further 70% stated this would increase surgery and treatment success. Augmented reality in surgery was said to be revolutionary by half of respondents, with 45% agreeing it would change the way surgical training takes place. Respondents also acknowledged a place for robots alongside humans in the future with 34% saying care giving could be done by robots, leaving room for medical professionals to have a more fulfilling role.  This improved fulfilment is likely to be linked to professionals having greater access to patient data, which 72% of respondents said would improve patient care. Furthermore, it would allow for improved knowledge sharing in the field thanks to remote access and virtual collaboration facilitated by technology, which 76% of respondents agreed with.

On top of data privacy concerns and the time-cost challenges, the research also uncovered further hurdles concerning ethics and liability. In fact, respondents agreed that ethical issues could hold back implementation and liability issues “when something goes wrong” were cited as major challenges by 65% and 70% of respondents respectively.

“As a company, Epson is dedicated to facilitating a positive technological shift by developing solutions that will make healthcare workforces more efficient and more productive,” says Epson Global President, Mr. Minoru Usui. “Our core technologies – wearables, robotics, visual imaging and printing technologies – are poised to deliver better outcomes in healthcare in our future vision.”


About the study

The two-phase research project was conducted by FTI Consulting. Phase one consisted of qualitative telephone interviews with 17 global futurists and European experts from various sectors from 22nd September-19th October 2016 to gain insights and develop hypotheses on the future of the workplace and the changing roles of the workforce leading up to 2025. Phase two consisted of a quantitative online survey conducted by FTI Consulting’s Strategy Consulting & Research team from 2nd-13th December 2016. Respondents included full-time employees across five major sectors (corporate, manufacturing, education, healthcare and retail) in workplaces across the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain in their local languages.

A total of n=7,016 full-time employees completed the survey. The breakdown of the respondents who completed the survey in each country are as follows: United Kingdom (1,329), France (1,308), Germany (1,427), Italy (1,526), Spain (1,426). The breakdown of the respondents who completed the survey in each industry sector are as follows: corporate (2,051), manufacturing (1,519), education (1,090), healthcare (1,215), retail (1,139).

The n=7,016 completes yields a 3% +/- margin of error with an industry standard 95% confidence interval. Please note that the standard convention for rounding has been applied and consequently some totals do not add up to 100%.

For further information on the research methodology or FTI Consulting’s market research services:

Global futurists and European experts interviewed

  • Jonathan Reynolds, Academic Director of the Oxford Institute of Retail Management (OXIRM), Associate Professor in Retail Marketing and Deputy Dean at Said Business School

  • Howard Saunders, Retail Futurist, Twenty Second & Fifth

  • Dave White, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning, University of the Arts London

  • Russel Stannard, Education Technologist and founder of

  • Professor Darwin Cadwell, Research Director, Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa and Chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Chapter (UKRI)

  • Professor Alain Bernard, Research Director, Laboratoire IRCCyN; Vice-President, AFPR; Vice-Chairman, WG5.1 of IFIP; and member of CIRP Council in France

  • Clive Hickman, Chief Executive, Manufacturing Technology Centre

  • Christopher Barnatt, Futurist,

  • Gerd Leonhard, Futurist, The Future Agency

  • Ben Hammersley, Journalist, Technologist, Futurist

  • Brice Le Blévennec, CEO at Emakina

  • Clinton Wingrove, HR Futurist

  • Dr. Bertalan Mesko, Futurist, Founder of The Medical Futurist

  • Giuliano Noci, Professor

  • Richard Webber, Professor

  • Dr. Tobias Gantner, Healthcare Futurist, HealthCare Futurists GmbH

  • Mariano Corso, Scientific Officer

Author profile

Epson Blog Team

Our team of bloggers have a passion for how technology can improve your lives and want to share this with you.

About Epson

Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to co-creating sustainability and enriching communities by leveraging its efficient, compact, and precision technologies and digital technologies to connect people, things, and information. The company is focused on solving societal issues through innovations in home and office printing, commercial and industrial printing, manufacturing, visual and lifestyle. Epson will become carbon negative and eliminate use of exhaustible underground resources such as oil and metal by 2050.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the worldwide Epson Group generates annual sales of around JPY 1 trillion.

Article Information

3D, augmented reality, Future, healthcare, research, robotics, technology investment


Related press releases

Epson introduces its first small-footprint UV flatbed printer for the promotional goods industry
Epson Remote Services integrated into MPS Monitor platform to simplify print management and remote fleet service
DataMaster Lab awards Epson Five Stars for its WorkForce AM-C business inkjet series