In 2015 expect increasing healthcare challenges from (i) aging populations and rising chronic illnesses, (ii) escalating costs and patchy quality, (iii) access, (iv) changing technologies, and (v) security.
Aging populations and chronic illness
Aging populations and the escalating prevalence of chronic lifelong diseases, will drive demand for healthcare in 2015, and impose significant burdens on healthcare systems.
Europe has the world’s highest proportion of people over 60. By 2017, 20% of Europeans will be over 65. By 2050 about 40% will be over 60. The US has similar trends. This aging and the increasing prevalence of chronic lifestyle diseases will continue to drive healthcare expansion, and pressure to reduce healthcare costs.
Globally, healthcare is at the centre of a big data boom that may prove to be one of the most significant drivers of healthcare change in the next decade. Today, we’re collecting more information than at any point in healthcare history.
In the UK, big data strategy is spearheaded by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England. In the US it is led by the Obama Administration’s big data R&D initiative.
In May 2013 Sir David Nicholson, the head of NHS England, announced his resignation. Nicholson was aninsider’s insider and his in-depth knowledge of the organisation served well his political masters, but he was unable to bring about much needed transformative change.
Escalating costs, changing technology, the growth and spread of diseases and an ageing population all conspire to present the NHS with its biggest challenge since it was created in 1948.