In what areas does America’s health system excel, and how it would evolve in the next 5 years? do we need more or less regulations, greater investments in certain areas or enhance competition?

Research Article by: Dr. Jorge Estrella MD, President & CMO at ESTERN Medical CRO Life Sciences 

The United States has what is arguably the most complex healthcare system in the world. As a result, changes within the industry are slow. To understand what may come, it helps to have a deeper understanding of healthcare’s complexity.

Many factors are involved in implementing and enforcing a change in healthcare. A complex and very slow-to change policies are an obvious factor, but environmental and technological factors also contribute to changes in healthcare. Illness trends, doctor demographics, and technology also contribute to shifts in our overall healthcare system. As our society evolves, our healthcare requirements naturally evolve in conjunction with newer type of diseases and novel medications and treatments.

The evolving needs of patients demands on healthcare are constantly changing due to various reasons, including the needs of patients. Every year, new cures and life science treatments help manage common diseases. Each development affects the entire healthcare system as much as it has a positive impact on patients. As illnesses become more common, our healthcare system must adapt to treat them. Patient care will also evolve as the population ages and relies more heavily on resources such as Medicare and Medicaid. Patient empowerment is expected to increase with advances in Pharmaceutical & Medical Device / MedTech technology.

As of today, they are diverse constant cycle of illness that are currently unresolved; the bubonic plague is a good medical example of a disease that can drastically change the healthcare system by quickly shifting all resources to handle an epidemic. In the “Middle Ages”, the Black Death spread so quickly across Europe that it is responsible for an estimated 75 million deaths. It may be surprising that the bubonic plague still circulates today in 2021. In fact, according to Center for Disease Control data, there were 11 cases and three deaths in the U.S. within five months in 2015.

Although the bubonic plague is not near the threat it once was, other diseases and conditions of concern are on the rise. The following seven conditions are on the rise and can be expected to have an impact on healthcare in the near future:

  1. Sexually Transmitted Infections: Chlamydia and gonorrhea rates have increased, and syphilis rates rose by 15.1 percent from 2013 to 2014.
  2. Obesity: obesity continues to be an issue in the U.S. with 78.6 million adults and 12.7 million children affected. Obesity rates have increased by 17 percent in the past five years.
  3. Autism: for every 100,000 people, 1,470 are diagnosed with autism. This number continues to rise annually. Recent increases may be due to awareness as physicians become more familiar with the symptoms of autism.
  4. E. Coli: within 10 years, cases of E. coli have increased by 472 percent. Many E. coli cases are the result of food contamination.
  5. Liver Cancer: incidences of liver cancer have increased by 47 percent in a recent 10-year timeframe.
  6. Kidney Cancer: healthcare practitioners have treated 18.6 percent more cases of kidney cancer in the past 10 years than in previous years.
  7. Whooping Cough: the 10-year increase for whooping cough is nearly 146 percent. This may be due in part to parents opting out of whooping cough vaccinations.
  8. Covid-19: since the first cases were reported in the United States in January 2020 until today June/01/2021, the total cases 33.3M & deaths 594K.

And this information is only for US-North America and “not” outside the US. This is something to consider as global escalation of unresolved diseases for a newer potential global pandemic in the future.

Broad advances in technology healthcare and trends focus heavily on patient empowerment. The introduction of wearable biometric devices that provide patients with data information about their own health and telemedicine apps allow patients to easily access care no matter where they live. With new technologies focused on monitoring, research, and healthcare availability, patients will be able to take a more active role in their care.

In Conclusion: from policy to patients and everything in-between, the healthcare industry is constantly evolving. Aging populations, Life Science Pharma, Biotech MedTech, data technological advancements and illness trends all have an impact on where healthcare is headed in the upcoming 5 years or less. Since it is crucial to pay attention to shifts in society to understand where healthcare & population shifts are really headed.

Ref. sources:

• CMS / Center for Medicare & Medicaid
• AAMC / Academic Medicine Community
• Medscape
• History back death
• WR
• AJMC American Journal Managed Care
• ESTERN Medical CRO Life Sciences data.