[INFOGRAPHIC] The Healthcare Industry and the Digital Impact

It widely acknowledged that advances in medicine have by far surpassed any innovation in terms of how radical it has changed peoples’ lives. Average life expectancy has increased from 64 years in 1990 to 71 in 2013 (WEF, 2016) and infant mortality reduced by 50%. This progress, however, and according to experts has come at significant cost namely a rising expenditure that is growing at a faster rate than global GDP.  In 2013, global expenditure was estimated at $7.5 trillion and expecting to reach $9.3 trillion in 2018. This economic burden comes as the population ages and healthcare costs become too unsustainable for both consumers and healthcare professionals.

Compared to other industries, healthcare hasn’t reaped the benefits of digitization and therefore it becomes an imperative for healthcare professionals to be able to adopt the new advances in technologies in the near future. By equipping governments and healthcare companies with the right capabilities they will be able to generate capital efficiencies and optimize their cost and henceforth be able to focus on innovation and productivity. Healthcare access, quality and affordability can therefore pass from myth to reality to a greater deal of patients.

Many startups and technology firms have already invested in the sector, with big players like IBM, Apple and Google. The novelty lies in the rise of many startups with the likes of Ginger.io, Proteus, Zenefits etc… that are enabling the easy access to healthcare and advice from certified doctors. Mobile health applications have doubled since 2013, with a 32% adoption rate in 2015. When talking about the healthcare of the future, many refer to it as ‘Smart Care’, a care that is based on predictive analytics and precision medicine. Instead of adopting a‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to medicine, the new technologies will take a person’s lifestyle, genes and environment into consideration in order to improve disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management (WEF, 2016).

While there still is a long way to go, the rise in global funding into digital healthcare ($5Bn in 2014) does carve a hopeful pathway for the new healthcare digital landscape.