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The future of healthcare – the drive for more personalised care

Using information to open up access, increase quality and control healthcare costs

For many years, healthcare trends have looked unsustainable - ageing populations result in more people needing care, while a declining workforce means fewer people to pay for, and actually deliver, that care. At the same time, an inexorable rise in the costs of care linked to long-term conditions reflects the impact of modern lifestyles, as well as positive advances in medicine and public health.

Up to now it has been possible to absorb the growing cost of healthcare incrementally, but with the consequence that either a significant proportion of the population loses access to care for all but emergency procedures, or the debate focuses on the rationale for controlling access to healthcare treatments.

Spending on healthcare is becoming unsustainable

Even with a raft of changes, a European Union study raised concerns about the sustainability of public finances. It predicted health and long-term costs in the EU would rise on average by about 2.6 percentage points of GDP by 2060, a 33% increase. This far from modest prediction already takes into account measures such as prolonging working life; increasing the participation of young, women and older workers; reforming tax and benefits systems; and making health and long term care systems more efficient.

Investing in healthcare requires a long term vision

Up until now healthcare systems have provided powerful barriers to change. A complex, often fragmented, web of actors has worked to preserve the status quo, limiting progress to incremental changes which often serve individual interests.

Many of the possible solutions mean that investment leads to benefits in other organisations, which encourages dysfunctional behaviours based on short-term rewards. The complexity of healthcare has resulted in a relatively late adoption of information technology, yet it is now clear from experience that health systems which are able to use information to drive quality and provide more preventative care can achieve remarkable results. Effective investment in health requires a holistic, long term view of the issues.

Using information to drive more personalised care

There is now a growing political will across the world to address some fundamental issues in healthcare, with a recognition that the solution lies in far-reaching reforms that will fundamentally change the relationships between key actors in the healthcare arena.

The future of healthcare lies in the use of information to drive for more personalised care in a way that opens up access and drives up quality while controlling costs.

Across a range of perspectives in healthcare, this means:

  • New governance - ensuring productivity rises significantly to avoid unaffordable healthcare

  • Harnessing technology to drive a healthcare revolution

  • Wellness opportunity - adopting new approaches to risk and return

  • Making an impact with telehealth

  • Health information vision - transforming healthcare delivery from volume of care to quality of care.

To discuss strategies for success across all areas of the new healthcare market, please contact us now.

Catharine Berwick
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Chris Steel
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