So how can this revolution help us to address some of the big challenges we are facing in healthcare? The world's population is growing and ageing – by 2020 , for the first time ever, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than five. Poor diet and sedentary behavior have led to an increase in obesity and lifestyle-related disease and a huge rise in chronic medical conditions. Heart disease, cancers, respiratory disease and diabetes are now killing 31 million people a year according to the World Health Organization. Healthcare costs are spiraling out of control – according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, global health spend is rising an average 5.2 percent per year and is set to bust $9 trillion by 2018. This is simply unsustainable.
If we are to ensure that healthcare remains affordable and widely available, we need to radically rethink how we provide and manage it – in collaboration with key health system partners – and apply the technology that can help achieve these changes. And this will play out in the merging of the consumer and professional healthcare spaces.
Health-conscious consumers are already comfortable using apps to track and take more control of their personal health, while governments are looking for ways to deliver better and more affordable healthcare beyond the hospital walls. They want to prevent diseases by encouraging healthy living, and support people with chronic diseases at home. Healthcare professionals are seeking ways to cooperate more effectively and deliver first-time-right diagnoses and targeted treatments.