The United States Census Bureau estimates that there are 73 million baby boomers – and the Pew Research Center predicts that between 2011 and 2030, 10,000 Boomers will reach age 65 daily. This effects healthcare delivery in two ways. First, as people age, they require more healthcare. “In most industries, when demand increases, that's a good thing. In healthcare, however, it's challenging because as costs go up, they eventually reach a ceiling of society's ability to pay," Holcomb said. “This is creating reimbursement pressure at nearly every interface in healthcare." COVID-19 has exacerbated these challenges because those over 65 are more likely to experience severe illness due to the new coronavirus.
The need for better, more precise healthcare that is still cost-effective has been one of the driving forces behind the development of healthcare technology. The ability to process massive amounts of clinical and genetic data has enhanced understanding of disease. This has helped the pharmaceutical industry to develop new cell and gene therapies or “precision medicine". EvaluatePharma predicts that this sector will experience up to a 70% compound annual growth rate; it will represent around $3 billion this year and could reach upwards of $20 billion by 2024.
Overall, these trends will change virtually everything about healthcare delivery – and COVID-19 will cause these trends to advance more quickly.