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FutureWorlds: exploring the future of healthcare

Enter your details to download a free copy of our future healthcare worlds report >

We are seeing a revolution in healthcare. Reform is putting the patient at the centre of care, shifting the emphasis from treating isolated conditions towards managing the multiple interconnected factors that influence a person’s wellbeing over a period of time. At the same time, people are increasingly taking responsibility for healthcare into their own hands, from seeking information about illnesses, treatments and individual doctors and, at times, to taking group action to drive systemic change.

The recent explosion in big data and new technologies is driving further transformation in healthcare. We now have greater insight into health trends on a local and a global level, and can start to realise long-standing ambitions around large-scale telehealth and affordable genome mapping.

Paying the price for future healthcare

But these advances in healthcare do not come cheap and the cost of care is increasing at an alarming rate. Across the OECD countries spending on healthcare accounts for an average of around 9.3% of GDP, and while the economic crisis may have caused a blip in the seemingly inexorable growth in healthcare spending, it is forecast to restart, driven by demographic pressures and lifestyle changes.

The UK currently spends 8% of its wealth on healthcare, mainly through the NHS, and this figure is expected to grow to 20% within 50 years. Other projections suggest that, in the US, healthcare will represent up to 37% of all spending by 2050. Innovation may be improving people’s lives but 50% of these increases in cost will come from paying for technology change and medical research. And these costs will only be compounded by wider global trends. Within 30 years, 40% of the population will be over 60. By 2050, one in three Americans will have diabetes.

How can we stop healthcare from bankrupting our children?

So how can we pay for better and more accessible healthcare while maintaining spending in the rest of the economy? How can we stop healthcare from bankrupting our children? 

The answer to this question depends on the direction that healthcare takes over the next five to ten years, and we see different potential directions that it can take – each of which will create a distinct healthcare ‘world’, a particular type of system with its own benefits and pitfalls, where the bill for healthcare is picked up in a different way.

Enter your details to download a free copy of our future healthcare worlds report >

To find out how PA can help your organisation improve patient outcomes in the future of healthcare, please contact us now.

Catharine Berwick
contact us now
Chris Steel
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