Is Healthcare Soon to be a Declining Market?

Current projections for global healthcare spending show an increase from $9.21 trillion USD in 2014 to $24.24 by 2040. But is healthcare soon to be a declining market?

Chart shows per country projections of increases to healthcare spending by 2040
Image Credit: World Economic Forum, “Sustainable health systems: visions, strategies, critical uncertainties and scenarios”, 2013

In a recent article Mark Drane, Studio Principal with IBI Group in the UK, raises some interesting questions about these projections and concerns about their lack of consideration for urban innovation. Through a change in our approach to healthy living and redesigning the city with health in mind, will we be able to dramatically reduce the need for this massive growth in spending?

Mark says yes:

“These projections could be viewed as a failure to address the large health issues societies around the world face. Should policies be looking now at investment in programmes that will stem the tide of chronic disease and seek to influence these projections. What are the investment models and strategies that might be needed to do so?”

He gives some examples of ways we are already working towards changing these projections:

“What might the novel policies and approaches be that could counter this trend? Programmes such as NHS England’s Healthy New Towns programme look to potential futures that design health into the fabric of our communities rather than treating people once they are sick. An event hosted by IBI Group and a Bristol Health Partners Health Integration Team last Autumn posed the question: Developing Healthy Neighbourhoods: Build-in Health or Build More Hospitals?

My own research poses the question: Why do streets make people sick? If the design of the places we live in kept us healthy in the first place then would this have an impact on these projections?”

To continue reading Mark’s thoughts on the future of healthcare spending, view his full article “Healthcare 2040: a declining market?”

Mark Drane

Mark is an architect and member of IBI’s global education practice, IBI Learning+. He leads the firm’s Higher Education and Science practice in the UK. Additionally, Mark is a Doctoral Researcher at the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre at UWE, Bristol with a research interest in the links between wellbeing and the physical environment. Mark firmly believes that the combination of Evidence Based Design and teamwork is the key to solving complex, real-world, problems.

TH!NK by IBI posts emailed directly to your inbox...