One of the best ways to anticipate change in your sector is to spend time outside it.”
– Michael Cameron (The Australian Newspaper, 18 May 2012)
I couldn’t agree more with Michael Cameron on this. Working outside healthcare and wellness, the incremental changes have become more prominent to me. Looking at them continually in action gives you a better perspective about the bigger megatrends ready to unfold in the near future.
Today, healthcare as an industry is rapidly evolving. The changes are not sudden and spectacular, but steady and evolutionary in nature. Most of the changes are engendered by the economic, social, and cultural trends already in action. In the future, health and wellness will punctuate and permeate our daily existence. The industry resonates with the spirit of today but also showcases the essence of the future.
Technology is also changing rapidly and transforming the way healthcare is provided. Organizations need to change to provide a more coherent and focused patient experience. Healthcare needs to evolve into a form that is safe, immediate, evidence-based, and connected to cater to the patient needs of the future. Organizations will need to introduce new policy frameworks and business practices to succeed.
Through this series of blogs, I have tried to explore the potential ramifications of these trends on healthcare, including the extent in which they impact various stakeholders in the industry – payers, providers, and patients. While the jury is still out on most of megatrends, the signs of change are amplifying. The rising costs of healthcare, the aging population, the development of emerging markets, the lack of skilled physicians, and ever-improving technology are factors that are tangible and have far-reaching consequences for the industry. We know that that the old models of treatment and care are not working – making change an imperative, not a choice. In the immortal words of Bob Dylan: “Better start swimming or sink like a stone.”
We also look at current real-world examples and manifestations of the changes in action, and some ongoing research about the future implications of the changes. A poignant example of an emerging practice comes from Star Trek inspired tricorder: A portable device that can instantly take vitals and detect disease. The size is even smaller than the device used by Spock!
This has been a profound, yet thought-provoking, research endeavor for me. But there is still a lot to be done. It would be interesting to see how healthcare evolves and updates itself to scale new heights in efficiency. I have researched examples that are pushing the envelope in healthcare – while not compromising on the integrity of the research – by looking only at trends that are widespread. I hope you find them earnest yet engaging, but I am sure you will enjoy the ride!!Comments