Is healthcare ready for global aging?
By Jai Verma, Senior Executive Officer & Global Head of Cigna B2G
The world is quickly approaching a population tipping point. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by 2050, the world’s population aged 60 years and over is expected to grow by 56 percent and reach nearly 2.1 billion, up from 900 million today.1
With an increase in chronic conditions around the world, the aging population may soon be witnessing one of the most expensive problems faced by healthcare systems. However, change is underway. Here are some key measures helping to address the aging conundrum:
- Governments stepping up: Healthcare costs are increasing as governments struggle with primary healthcare delivery for the young as well. Plans are underway to introduce public healthcare strategies that address critical disease more efficiently and manage needs of its booming elderly population, such as in China, Thailand, Mexico and India.
On the other hand, countries are also investing destinations of excellence for high quality and quality and competitively priced healthcare such as in the UAE and Malaysia.
- Impact of technology: In its Megatrend 2016 report, Ernst and Young says the next generation of smart health technology promises enormous change for aging populations. The shift in the way that medical information is received and consumed online has brought about a fundamental change to healthcare consumption. According to the 2017 Cigna 360° Well-being Survey, 78 percent of respondents believe the use of digital technology in healthcare has the potential to bring good health to more people around the world, whereas 59 percent use or plan to use health apps in the next year.
- New and customizable solutions: Healthcare companies, like Cigna, are working closely with governments and healthcare institutions around the world to design new and flexible solutions that provide seniors access to affordable and efficient care.
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1- World Health Organization, Aging and Health http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health Accessed on 10 June 2018