A sector in disruption shifts to focus on patients, prevention, outcomes, and trust
HEALTHCARE worldwide is changing. It is a sector in disruption, one that faces the universal forces of rapid digitization, aging populations worldwide, a greater prevalence of chronic diseases, and more informed and connected consumers.
But disruption births opportunity, as stakeholders of the health ecosystem – governments, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies, med-tech companies, insurers, and patients – begin thinking differently about healthcare.
EY describes this transformation as the sector’s move to “Health 2.0, the consumer-centric, outcomes-driven, prevention-focused future of healthcare”.
Other estimates from PwC’s Health Research Institute project global healthcare spending of US$18.28 trillion by 2040 and a worldwide shortage of 12.9 million healthcare professionals by 2035.
Growth in demand is positive for healthcare businesses, but when it comes to healthcare, affordability, accessibility and the delivery of care become critical concerns for governments and businesses alike.
A key driver of rising healthcare costs is the world’s rapidly ageing population. There are now more than 668 million people over the age of 65, making up 11.6 per cent of the world’s population. By 2025, this group is expected to make up a third of a world population that is one billion people larger.
And while medical advances may be winning the fight against communicable diseases, the challenges and costs of treating non-communicable ones such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, continue to grow, says Deloitte.
This is why healthcare stakeholders, as they envision new business and care delivery models, need to be “shifting focus away from a system of sick care, in which we treat patients after they fall ill, to one of healthcare which supports well-being, prevention and early intervention”, says Deloitte’s 2019 Global Health Care Outlook report.
“Healthcare organizations around the globe will continually face challenges to care for those they serve in smarter ways, emphasizing preventive efforts, more access, a personalized approach and better quality and outcomes – all while being more efficient and cost-effective,” says a PwC report on health industry issues.
“The lifeblood of meeting these challenges will be data and technology,” PwC says. Integrating technology – artificial intelligence, smart medical devices and more – in a way that meets patients’ needs is what top healthcare companies must now aim for.