• Digital technology
    • Greater usage of healthcare data/EHRs

      With the increased usage of novel digital technologies, there has been a large increase in the amount of healthcare data being collected.1 Ultimately, the goal is for this date to become accessible across entire healthcare systems and to patients. which could lead to improved quality of care and cost-efficiency.2

       

      Healthcare data provides many opportunities for growth, leading the way is developing digital solutions for personalized clinical decision support and patient/population management.3

      Facts

      Annually, there is a 35% increase in data3

      Prediction/Future

      It is estimated that in the next 20 years electronic health records (EHRs) will be universally accepted and utilized.4

      Challenges

      • Elimination of old and less efficient legacy platforms
      • Costly and complex development of innovative technologies
      • Rapidly evolving business needs
      • Challenges surrounding cybersecurity and data privacy
      • Slow behavior changes of the workforce5
      • Increased introduction of non-traditional players entering the market6

      Example

      “Internet Plus” is a concept in the Chinese healthcare system that is based on the analysis of real-world data from hospitals to help support the development of new healthcare policies/reforms.7

      “National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB)” was created as a detailed plan for transitioning India into digital health.8

      The “Digitale Versorgung Gesetz” law in Germany provides a basis for providing better healthcare with the support of innovative digital tools.9

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Artificial intelligence (AI)

      AI is the simulation of human intelligence by machines and is considered to be a game changer in the healthcare industry. AI has many diverse applications in healthcare and it has a real power to transform the industry. These applications range from diagnostics and patient care management including clinical decision support and healthcare bots, all the way to drug development and clinical trials.10 The opportunities and the benefits that these AI-based tools will bring will be driven by a growth in the availability of technological infrastructure.11

      Facts

      AI in healthcare is expected to become a $11.4 billion industry by 202412

      Prediction/Future

      AI has the capability to enhance patient outcomes by 30-40%, while costs could drop by ~50%.13 Additionally AI could potentially save $USD 150 million by 2026 for the US healthcare system alone.14

      Challenges

      • Huge pressure on systems capacity and infrastructure
      • Secure storage and use of data, which is growing exponentially
      • Expectation for high-level, decision-making capabilities
      • Augmented intelligence
      • Integration, implementation and legal challenges15
      • Potential market disruptions in healthcare due to non-traditional and traditional players entering the AI and tech space16

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Digital ethics and privacy

      Data ethics and privacy deals with the proper handling of sensitive data including its collection, storage, usage and sharing. The economic value of data is rapidly increasing and due to the particular ethical challenges they present, organizations are increasingly expected to consider ethical obligations, social responsibilities, and organizational values as guides to which digital opportunities to pursue.17 As a result, privacy has become the focus of several regulations and restrictions and has forced companies to look at the way they handle their consumer data and implement their privacy regulations. Companies need to ensure that they are being transparent with the way they are using consumer data as this will provide a competitive business advantage.18

      Facts

      "Healthcare data is 10-20x more valuable than credit card data" - Don Jackson19

      Prediction/Future

      By 2023, it is expected that 65% of the world’s data will be protected by advanced data regulations, this will be an increase on the current estimate of 10%.20

      Challenges

      • Organizational risks incurred due to privacy breaches including major fines, reputational losses, operational disruption, legal actions, and data loss21
      • Issues surrounding the invisibility of how data is being tracked
      • Inaccuracy in the digital health footprint
      • The accumulation of data over time and its level of immortality
      • Utilizing the marketability of data
      • Ensuring anonymity of data is a very difficult process22

      Example

      In 2018, the Official for Criminal Rights (OCR) settled 10 data privacy cases and secured one judgment, together totaling $USD 28.7 million. This was an all-time record year for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) enforcement activity, increasing by 22% from 2016.23

      General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe states that in order for the processing of personal data to be fair and lawful, it must be transparent. In practice, for most businesses, this means that laying out in the privacy statement to the customer the “how, why, where and what” of its processing activities must be done.24

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Cybersecurity

      Cybersecurity is defined as the concepts and measures taken to protect data from online threats and prevent data breaches.25 For healthcare, cybersecurity has become increasingly important due to the increased digital storage and processing of health records. With the increased use of centralized cloud solutions and the rise of digital technology in the workplace, there is a known increased risk of potential cyber-attacks.26 Therefore, it is imperative that organizations have a solid framework to support their technology, and also policies and procedures in place to ensure data security.27

      Facts

      In 2021, data breaches on average cost ~$USD 4.24 million across all industry sectors. In healthcare (the most expensive sector) alone, this was ~ $USD 9.23 million28

      Prediction/Future

      Healthcare is on the brink of a seismic shift. Innovations and external factors will continue to introduce and promote new risks. As a result, it is more important than ever for cybersecurity and privacy to be fully integrated into healthcare systems.29

      Challenges

      • Ransomware
      • Data breaches
      • Insider sabotage
      • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks30
      • Lack of/Reduced technical infrastructure
      • Vulnerability of centralized cloud solutions31

      Example

      Two separate incidents at two major US healthcare organizations resulted in the personal data of over 190,000 patients being compromised following a cyber-attack against a third-party cloud software provider.32

      In December 2020, a cyber-attack was launched on the European Medicine Agency (EMA) resulting in the theft of documents related to the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Full details relating to what was stolen were never published.33

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Consumerization of healthcare/patient engagement

      Patients are becoming more informed and empowered and as a result, are taking increased control of their medical and wellness care. In order to support this trend, more of the healthcare industry is being consumerized and democratized along with novel products and services entering the market to meet the demand.34

       

      As patients become more involved with managing their health, healthcare organizations have increased opportunities to branch out into areas such as relevant self-testing, remote monitoring using wearables, and remote chronic disease management. Ultimately, this will create a new customer-centric market that will utilize concepts from a plethora of pre-existing markets outside the healthcare space.35

      Facts

      The market for the consumerization of healthcare is estimated to be worth ~$600 billion in 2019 and will continue to increase at a 5.5% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) through 2025.34

      Prediction/Future

      The pandemic has made the harder-to-imagine ways in which consumers would engage in their health in the future more realistic. Moving forward, we can expect that consumers will expect to have continued access to convenient and patient-centric healthcare services like those provided during the pandemic.36

      Challenges

      • Patients are less tolerant to delays/inefficiencies
      • Resistance to change
      • Outdated regulatory and compliance policies limit the transition
      • Lack of trust and transparency between stakeholders
      • Shortage of skilled staff
      • The development and implementation of wearable technology37

      Example

      At-home testing solutions are gaining popularity as they provide immediate results to patients at a low cost.

      Decentralized diagnostics and point of care (POC) diagnostics has emerged following the first global SARS-CoV-2 infections to better manage COVID patients.

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

  • Consumer/Patient
    • Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

      IoMT describes a network of health devices communicating in real time to gather and exchange data to help improve the overall cycle of care. It includes smart wearables, home-use medical devices, Point of Care kits, and home sensors. These have a plethora of applications including chronic disease monitoring, elderly care, medical self-assessment, remote in vitro diagnostic (IVD) testing, and virtual clinical studies.38

       

      The capabilities of IoMT will continue to grow as 88% of care providers are beginning to invest in remote monitoring solutions. As a result, the market is growing rapidly so it is important to capitalize on investment opportunities while it is still there.38

      Facts

      The IoMT market is expected to rapidly grow from 2020 to 2026 reaching a total of $USD 254.2 billion by 2026.38

      Prediction/Future

      The future of IoMT is likely to bring further simplification to the medical profession for practitioners and patients alike.39

      Challenges

      • Data security attacks
      • Strain on existing networks
      • Huge volumes of data
      • Lack of standardization
      • Outdated infrastructure40
      • Competition created by consumer-centric companies with a large installed base of wearables and smartphone41

      Example

      Continuous self-monitoring allows patients to reach out to their physician early for further testing when prompted to do so. One example of this is the use of an electrocardiogram sensor and smartphone app to detect abnormal heart rhythms.

      The University of Nottingham has been developing a smart bandage that has optical fiber sensors that assess whether the affected tissues are healing well or infected in an attempt to limit diabetic amputations.42

      Binghampton University has developed electrochemical sensors that conform to the skin to allow for long-term, real-time monitoring of lactate and oxygen levels of a wound to help aid the healing process.43

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Teleheath

      Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, there has been rapid adoption of telehealth services across the world.44 Telehealth refers to the use of modern information and communication technologies to provide healthcare services remotely. These services can include but are not limited to online consultation, online care and online collaborative platforms for healthcare providers.45

       

      Utilizing telehealth services will help enhance the value of organizations to their customers, and help create new interactions and increased loyalty. In addition, this opens up a market for more new and innovative tools that can be utilized to enhance remote patient monitoring and hence will benefit telehealth services.45

      Facts

      Percentage of doctors visits conducted via telehealth in the US:
      Pre covid - 0.1%
      As of April 2020 - 32%
      Since June 2020 - 13-17%44

      Prediction/Future

      The future of telehealth has been highly impacted by COVID-19 and what we expect post-pandemic is higher baseline adoption, accelerated growth due to increased awareness and funding of telehealth services, and more favorable reimbursements due to long-term telehealth reforms.44

      Challenges

      • Security and interoperability
      • Limited image resolution
      • Technical support quality
      • Resistance to organizational culture change
      • Low retention in rural areas46
      • Increased pressure on already stressed ecosystem44

      Example

      US – Joe Biden recently announced a key investment of over $19 million to help develop telehealth services, with a focus on accessibility in rural and underserved communities. The aim is to help drive improvements in innovation and quality in telehealth nationwide.47

      China – Developed in 2014, Ping An Good Doctor really took off in early 2020 as COVID-19 took over Wuhan. Currently, it has over 72.6 million active users and 373 million registered users making it the most widely used telehealth platform globally.48

      Alaska – In early 2021, a broadband pilot program was announced with the intention of increasing access to telehealth services for those living in rural Alaska. The rural lifestyle in Alaska means that telehealth services are necessary to ensure access to health services for everyone.49

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Homecare

      Homecare is becoming increasingly relevant due to the rapidly aging global population. In order to help reduce the number of hospital and doctor visits and increase the convenience of care, there have been multiple delivery approaches developed that are aimed at implementing homecare. This includes introducing professional care at-home services and device-assisted self-care.50 One of the best ways to support the increased demand for homecare is through the development of an easy and efficient IoMT to ensure patients have access to remote monitoring devices.51

      Facts

      The number of people aged 65 years & older will rise from ~9% (2019), to 12% (2030), to 16% (2050), to 23% (2100).52

      Prediction/Future

      While the pandemic has definitely shifted the way we approach healthcare, we are now seeing the return of at-home doctor visits and the introduction of telehealth services. However, this change has been coming for a long time due to the shift in population structure. Moving forward, this shift that was accelerated by COVID-19, is here to stay.53

      Challenges

      • Increased burden on healthcare systems
      • Increased costs54
      • Shifts in caregiving patterns
      • Increased needs for long-term care services
      • Increased need for managed care programs (facilities)55
      • Consumer-centric companies along with traditional companies will create a large deal of competition in terms of the development of wearables for homecare56

      Example

      According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), telehealth utilization spiked by more than 154% in late March of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, showing an increasing trend of at-home care services.

      IVD testing solutions for patient self-testing have gained momentum, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic where a large number of self-testing kits became available for at-home use.57

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

  • Healthcare provider
    • Personalized disease management

      We are moving into an era where the patient is at the center of care and healthcare providers aim to enhance health outcomes in a cost-efficient way.58 As a result, personalized disease management is the future of healthcare. It’s being driven by technological and data advancements that will allow for continuous and remote patient monitoring while promoting patientengagement in their own health. More providers are moving to offer management of care on a single patient basis combining remote monitoring and advanced data analytics.59 This offers highly unique and tailored care designed specifically to an individual patient’s needs.58

      Facts

      By 2025 a new taxonomy of medicine based on underlying cause and personal response will be understood and integrated clinical services will take a 'whole body' approach. This will allow for more tailored, optimized, and effective therapies for improved individual outcomes.59

      Prediction/Future

      Personalized disease management will be useful for treating all diseases, will result in new drugs capable of hitting multiple targets, and hopefully be able to reduce medication side effects or even potentially eliminate them.60

      Challenges

      • Reimbursement for health management
      • Data integration
      • Interoperability of healthcare stakeholders61
      • Need for specialist training on individual diseases, not just disease areas
      • Remedying deficiencies in knowledge and strengthening medical genetics62
      • Increased competition from traditional, non-traditional and start-up companies63

      Example

      Tools such as next-generation sequencing have been so far exploited mostly in oncology and have led to predictive tests, prognostic and risk of recurrence tests, and targeted treatments

      Collecting patient data following their discharge from the hospital to better understand their outcomes will help drive personalization and is a feature of several modern electronic health record (EHR) systems

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Remote patient monitoring

      The goal behind remote patient monitoring is to keep track of health metrics anywhere and at any time, mainly to ensure that people with chronic conditions can live a high-quality life at home. Using a mix of wearable devices and sensors, health metrics are recorded remotely and can be accessed by the patient, provider, and any other involved stakeholders.64 Remote patient monitoring is an untapped market, the growth is unmatched due to the role it plays in the management of chronic disease, elderly care, virtual clinical trials, and the list goes on.65

      Facts

      80% of patients are in favor of utilizing remote patient monitoring66

      Prediction/Future

      It is estimated that widespread adoption of remote patient monitoring could save the US as much as $USD 6 billion annually67

      Challenges

      • Threats to confidentiality and privacy
      • Technology acceptance resistance
      • Limited system interoperability
      • Decrease human interactions
      • Reliance on strong telecommunication networks65
      • Increased competition from non-traditional companies68

      Example

      Smart Tattoos are thin but fashionable devices that can be applied to the skin or implanted just under the skin to measure and monitor health metrics and communicate them to Bluetooth devices or illustrate chemical reactions on the skin for example.69

      The University of Surrey together with its partners has developed a breakthrough sensor system. This new sensor system is embedded into a new contact lens that contains a photodetector, temperature sensor, and a glucose sensor.70

      The Bodyport Scale is a scale with incorporated advanced sensors to monitor cardiac signals and biomarkers at home with the aim at improving the management of heart failure to enable earlier interventions.71

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS)

      Due to the immense speed that we accumulate medical knowledge, the use of novel complex technology, and the time pressures experienced in clinical contexts, there is an urgent need for clinical support tools. These tools combine advanced data analytics with state-of-the-art medical knowledge to support physicians in rapidly providing the best possible care.72 Clinical decision support tools will not replace physicians, but they can carry out repetitive tasks to help free up their time and provide data-driven insights and decision support (image analysis, guideline knowledge, genomic insights, etc.).73

       

      There are also several key opportunities created with the implementation of CDSS including making systems interoperable, patient surveillance, improving patient outcomes through extended services, utilizing data to develop new and innovative solutions, and ultimately providing end-to-end solutions with closer access to providers.74

      Facts

      It is thought that the doubling time of medical knowledge is now 73 days and not 50 years as it was in 195075

      Prediction/Future

      CDSS cannot replace physicians but they can help reduce repetitive work and provide decision guidance.

      Challenges

      • Diagnostic errors
      • Missed information
      • Growing influence of artificial intelligence on CDSS
      • Intrusive alerts that can contribute to physician burnout
      • Exhausted healthcare providers
      • Adoption of CDSS by workforce76

      Example

      There is an explosion in the number of advanced molecular tests, which no physician can reasonably synthesize and adapt on their own. CDS will help healthcare providers use and interpret tests properly.

      Digital tools, such as emerging clinical decision support technologies, offer a way to improve the efficiency of molecular tumor boards

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Shortage of skilled labor

      There is a current global shortage of skilled labor in healthcare. This growing talent gap could result in major drawbacks in the quantity and quality of care and as a result, it is increasingly important to source, hire, train and retain a skilled workforce.77 Globally, there is an opportunity to come together and address the cause of this shortage and find solutions to overcome this challenge.  Better working conditions, new career models, higher flexibility, lower workload, and creative workplaces may all be considered to address the shortage of skilled labor.78

      Facts

      18 million additional healthcare workers are needed to achieve universal coverage by 203077

      Prediction/Future

      Across the world, countries are implementing strategies to help address the workforce and labor shortage in healthcare. These strategies include prioritizing funding toward healthcare, increasing accessibility and support for medical students, developing new and improved care models, and harnessing technology. The end goal is to help eradicate the shortage we are facing and close the talent gap.79,80

      Challenges

      • Aging population needing extensive care
      • Increased retirement due to aging workforce
      • Limited capacity of education programs in certain countries
      • Increase in chronic diseases requiring more staff
      • Stressful working conditions leading to burnout and other mental issues81
      • Threats to the quality and sustainability of the global system82

      Example

      Germany passed the Care Staff Strengthening act which aims to improve the attractiveness for healthcare employees. This act covers a broad range of measures aimed at improving the work environment, quality of care for employees, and financial benefits.83

      Japan has one of the highest employment rates in terms of healthcare labor. A driving force behind this was the decision to provide incentives for joining and staying within the industry. These incentives are not only financial but also professional development as well as continuous improvement to working conditions.84

      The UK has developed a long-term plan that is aimed at closing the gap in the healthcare workforce. “Long-term ” is the emphasis of the project as change cannot happen overnight and there are many steps needed in order to fix the problem.85

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

  • Industry
    • Pressure to innovate

      An increase in market saturation is forcing companies to rethink their strategies for future growth and to identify potential new markets where innovation may bring unprecedented business opportunities.6 Therefore, there is pressure for innovation as it currently sits at the core of successful business stories, making it a necessity to stay ahead of the curve. This will ultimately secure present and future market shares and lead to business growth, no matter what the industry.86

      Facts

      In 2019 the US healthcare venture fundraising set a record reaching ~$USD 10.7 billion, which was a 10% increase on the previous year, to be spent on healthcare innovation87

      Prediction/Future

      The rate of innovation doubles each year, so initially it would take 7 years to get from 0.01 to 1% but then it would only take another 7 years to reach 100%88

      Challenges

      • Costs/funding
      • Stakeholder collaboration
      • Limitations derived from international policies
      • Lack of technological infrastructure to support innovation
      • Accountability challenges89
      • Failure to innovate will have a determinate impact on progression90

      Examples

      In response to the growing social pressures and inequalities in healthcare across China, the government announced a series of reforms aimed to establish a basic universal system. To support the reforms, the government invested ~$USD 125 billion to help innovate its healthcare system to achieve its goals.91

      Technology-driven innovations have the potential to deliver more convenient, personalized care while improving our understanding of patients. These technological innovations are driving healthcare advances and are expected to create between $USD 350-450 billion value annually by 2025.88

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Ecosystem approach

      Ecosystems are sets of capabilities and services that integrate valuable participants through a common model and virtual data backbone. They aim to create improved and efficient experiences and reduce potential inefficiencies or pain points. In healthcare, there is a newfound focus on supporting the whole cycle of care rather than just an episode of it by becoming a healthcare orchestrator. What has become evident recently is that many Big Tech companies are pursuing an ecosystem approach and moving into the healthcare market.92

       

      Ecosystems have the ability to be a powerful force that can reshape and disrupt industries. In healthcare, it can do the same, and implementing such an approach allows you to enhance productivity and engage across the entire patient journey, resulting in new revenue stream opportunities.92

      Facts

      -

      Prediction/Future

      The future of an ecosystem approach in healthcare begins with starting to think of the patient as the center of care rather than an end-customer. To do this we need a strong focus on data-driven approaches, interoperability, and collaboration across a plethora of different industries.92

      Challenges

      • Delicate balance needed between community needs and the interest of decision makers
      • Need to address a complex matrix of issues across multiple disciplinary pillars
      • Requires a large transdisciplinary team
      • Financial support
      • Time requirements93
      • Implementation of ecosystem-based business models94

      Example

      In Estonia, the state provides a digital backbone called the X-road, which securely connects everything from state services to the private and public sector to schools and healthcare. This provides the access of every doctor’s note ever written and every test result and prescription ever received for more efficient healthcare experiences.

      Microsoft’s move into healthcare is focused on empowering healthcare enterprises. They are doing this through multiple strong partnerships and investments to reach their end goal of empowering their customers, partners, and patients.95

      Amazon’s move into the healthcare industry was driven by the following initiative; an omnichannel pharmacy, delivery of medical supplies, and an approach to lower overall healthcare costs for their employees. Their success was supported through their strong infrastructure created through their online retail business and advanced artificial intelligence capabilities.96

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

  • Payer
    • Affordability challenge

      The overall costs for healthcare are increasing faster than budgets can physically keep up, the systems are struggling to afford healthcare. As a result, pressure is imposed on various healthcare stakeholders including manufacturers and healthcare providers to provide higher quality products and services for lower prices. This leads to increased marginal pressure on the entire system.97

       

      There are many opportunities that become evident when addressing an affordability transformation ranging from improved provider collaboration, shifts to value-based healthcare, model redesigns, improved relationships between stakeholders, and new innovative product design.97

      Facts

      Globally there has been an increase in healthcare spending from 2000-2017, spending has grown faster than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) globally with high income countries expenditure growing twice as fast as GDP98

      Prediction/Future

      Moving forward, there is even more drive to ensure healthcare is affordable and accessible for everyone across the globe and as a result, the industry is investing more into reaching this end goal and overcoming the affordability challenge.99

      Challenges

      • Cost of health insurance and/or availability and breadth of healthcare coverage
      • Increasing cost of prescription medications100
      • High cost of advanced medical technologies
      • Increasing age of global population
      • Increased incidence of chronic disease
      • Increased pressure to ensure affordability for everyone101

      Examples

      Globally, the US has the highest expenditure on healthcare but yet still seems to have the worst outcomes. The Biden administration has pledged to use its executive authority to strengthen and expand access to marketplace coverage and Medicaid.102

      The Chinese healthcare system is undergoing a major reform with the goal of closing the demand gap for novel and cost-effective therapies. The program aims to slash generic drug prices and streamline the regulatory process and ultimately improve access.103

      Financial protection is strong in Germany. This results in high levels of public spending on health and hence limits the out-of-pocket payments to just above 12% of all healthcare payments. Their policies are carefully designed to protect children and regular users of healthcare.104

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Value-based healthcare (VBHC)

      In contrast to the traditional fee-for-service reimbursement, VBHC ties the pricing and reimbursements of healthcare products and services to the resulting health outcomes. As a result, it relies on tighter monitoring of health outcomes, leads to the emergence of alternative payer, provider, reimbursement, procurement, and pricing models, and requires manufacturers to prove the value of their products to payers.105 With an accelerated rate of innovation in healthcare, the high costs of many health innovations are likely to result in a wider acceptance of VBHC within manufacturers, payers, and stakeholders.106

      Facts

      Patient value = Patient-relevant outcomes/Cost per patient to achieve these outcomes106

      Prediction/Future

      It is expected that by 2025, VBHC will be the new normal for the healthcare industry. More manufacturers will be entering into long-term arrangements, more VBHC solutions will be presented, funding will be accepting VBHC methods, and more VBHC partnerships will be in development.107

      Challenges

      • Data management and patient privacy
      • Limitations in transforming data into actionable insights
      • Financial effectiveness and pressures
      • The ability to standardize and quantify health outcomes
      • Lack of dedicated personnel and measurement tools106
      • Implementation is not linear and can experience setbacks108

      Examples

      The University Hospital Basel in Switzerland implemented a VBHC model in 2016 and after only 1 year of implementation saw a decrease in treatment time and improved patient satisfaction and engagement. As a result, it became a pioneer in VBHC among Swiss healthcare providers.109

      Alignment Healthcare is a consumer-centric healthcare provider that delivers customized healthcare to patients within the US following a VBHC approach to healthcare insurance.110

      Sweden was one of the first European countries to implement a bundled-payment model in healthcare and saw a 34% decrease in total average medical spending on total hip and knee replacement.111

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

    • Regulation 4.0

      As we begin to embrace Industry 4.0, the digital revolution, regulations will have to follow suit by embracing “regulation 4.0”. Industry 4.0 is being driven by change and innovation and this poses an intrinsic challenge for regulators, as they have to move toward more data-driven, efficient and cost-effective regulation. To do this they must foster close collaboration with the healthcare industry to ensure quick reactions to medical needs.112

       

      Forming partnerships between regulatory bodies and the healthcare industry during a revolution is advantageous as it will allow easier and more rapid market access for new and innovative products before anyone else.113

      Facts

      -

      Prediction/Future

      By 2025, digital transformations will meet regulation 4.0 and we will see: global alignment, developments based on win-win relationships between multiple stakeholders, faster regulatory approvals of innovations, and advanced technology being the driving factor.114

      Challenges

      • Keeping pace with technological and scientific innovation
      • Continuously developing new approaches to evaluate and monitor new products
      • Collaboration between regulatory bodies
      • Increased patient engagement in the evaluation and monitoring of new innovations and products
      • New technology shapes the future of the industry and hence must be done effectively and efficiently
      • Staying ahead of the crowd to ensure quick access to the markets114

      Examples

      The FDA piloted the Digital Health Software Precertification (Pre-Cert) Program in 2019, which allows developers who previously demonstrated sufficient performance quality quicker market entrance for digital innovations. This means they can release with little to no pre-market reviews and can advance their software based on real-world data.115

      In response to COVID-19, the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services and the FDA waived existing regulations to increase access to healthcare. They enabled telehealth services, expanded medical staff allowances, accelerated approval processes, and promoted data sharing. It is expected these regulations will remain to promote growth in telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and virtual clinical trials in the future.116

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

  • Population
    • Emerging infectious disease (EID)

      The dramatic impacts of the recent COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the need for future preparedness against EIDs.117 Worldwide, outbreaks of EIDs are getting more common and have profound effects on both health and the economy. Some new infectious agents emerge due to transmission from animals to humans, others enter new geographical areas due to global travel, trade, and the changing climate. Furthermore, urbanization leads to close contact within populations facilitating the rapid spread of infection.118

       

      With the inability to predict events, it’s imperative to stay ahead of the curve and act fast to help slow and eventually stop the spread of these diseases.119

      Facts

      $USD 100s of millions is spent on EIDs annually and this number is increasing annually with the emergence of new diseases120

      Prediction/Future

      It is highly unlikely that we will ever be in a position to accurately predict EIDs. Therefore the best position to be in is to be prepared.119

      Challenges

      • Climate change
      • International travel and commerce
      • Breakdown of public health measures and systems
      • Human demographic factors and behavior including but not limited to population density, population growth, and population distribution
      • Adaptation of viruses and bacteria that contribute to the development of “super-bugs”121
      • There will always be a race to respond to EIDs quickly and efficiently122

      Examples

      There have been several outbreaks in the last 15 years of EIDs that were previously unknown including Zika, MERS, SARS, and COVID-19. The diseases vary in times of severity and geographic spread, yet they all have negatively impacted the global population.123

      Re-emerging infectious diseases are those that once were major health problems globally or in a particular country, and then formerly declined and no longer considered a public health problem, but are again becoming problematic. Examples include malaria and tuberculosis.124

      HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU?

Healthcare is evolving at a rapid pace.  To help shed light on the driving forces behind the ongoing transformation, we created the Healthcare Megatrends. Understanding these trends will help uncover the challenges faced to achieve sustainable healthcare systems that address the needs of all of us.

Healthcare Megatrends influence the industry as a whole, but we clustered them into 6 sections to help highlight the relevant area or stakeholders impacted most: Digital technology, Consumer/Patient, Healthcare providers, Industry, Payer, and Population.

As always, our aim is to provide valuable and actionable insights for you as healthcare leaders to navigate through the trends and uncertainties of today. Because the path to healthcare transformation starts with all of us.

What trends are most important for you? Rank the trends at the bottom of each so we know what you would like to hear more about.

Let’s explore!

References

  1. Dash et al. (2019). J Big Data 6, 1-25
  2. Evans. (2016). Yearbook of Medical Informatics 25, 48-61
  3. Reinsel et al. (2018). Article available from https://resources.moredirect.com/white-papers/idc-report-the-digitization-of-the-world-from-edge-to-core [Accessed May 2021]
  4. Evans. (2016). Yearb Med Inform Suppl 1, S48-61
  5. Zandieh et al. (2008). J GEN INTERN MED 23, 755-761
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