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Creative Disruption in Health Care and Education

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution transforms some sectors and creates new fields, it is also enabling new approaches to health care and education. The potential benefits of disruptive technologies for economic growth, sustainability, and human wellbeing are simply too great to pass up.

WASHINGTON, DC – Governments are often more eager to invest in physical infrastructure – such as roads, bridges, and airports – than in human capital, through channels like health care, education, and skills training. This can be good politics, because it enables leaders to deliver concrete, visible results over the course of a few years. But the best way to ensure that economies grow and prosper in the long term is to ensure that citizens are healthy and educated.

With technology’s continuing advance, this is becoming easier for governments to achieve. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution transforms some sectors (notably, manufacturing) and creates new fields (such as robotics, 3D printing, and autonomous vehicles), it is also enabling new approaches to health care and education.

Already, technology has proved effective for lowering costs, expanding access, and improving quality in both the education and health care fields. The Internet and mobile-phone technology have enabled scarce medical specialists to serve patients in remote places using telemedicine, and facilitated the rise of distance-learning university campuses, giving students everywhere access to professors who previously were available only to those in major cities or on university campuses.

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