The Future Agenda Programme sponsored by Vodafone Group is a pioneering open foresight project that has brought together informed people from across the world to analyse the crucial themes of the next 10 years. The results of the research, which included 50 workshops in 25 locations alongside online discussions, have created a unique view of the next decade and are published in Future Agenda:The world in 2020. At a time when important decisions need to be made across many areas, it provides a distictive perspective to stimulate ideas and actions. Here, we explore the issues surrounding the provision of healthcare.
Active Elderly:a key demographic change in the coming decade will be the significant increase in the number of elderly people, including the very old, and this will place a burden on healthcare systems.
Automated People Care:over the next decade, many predict that automated people-care, where assistance is provided either remotely or by technology-enabled products within the home, will be a major focus of attention.
Clinical Enhancement:the world of the ‘Bionic Man’ is closer than we might think. An increasing number of people see the next decade as one in which more and more of us will seek to use clinical enhancement to improve our normal human performance.
Diabesity:with diabetes consuming 5% of GDP, a combination of fat taxation, patient data mining and personal budgets will play a role in stabilising the obesity epidemic.
Global Pandemics:with the likelihood of two to three major pandemics starting in regions with limited public healthcare and then rapidly spreading globally, a fast response will be demanded.
Halting Alzheimer’s:finding a new way forward for Alzheimer’s is a burning issue and while finding a cure may take longer than 2020, a capability of stopping degradation in that timeframe is highly probable.
Imbalanced Population Growth:by 2020, we will add another 750M people to the planet, most in places least able to accommodate them.
Mass Medical Tourism:medical tourism goes mainstream as low-cost cardiac surgery and broader healthcare provision join dentistry and cosmetic surgery to have global impact.
Pharma Foods:there is a growing interest in the use of foods for medical purposes. Consumers are demanding more technologically advanced foods with unique, complex health benefits and food companies need to respond.
Systemic Euthanasia:a recent study in Brazil confirmed that over 70% of total healthcare costs occur in the 12 months before death.
For more information on the future Agenda Programme sponsored by the Vodafone group visit www.futureagenda.org.
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