One of the greatest achievements of modern times – the general advance in the quality of healthcare outcomes globally – has created one of our most pressing dilemmas. Around the world, healthcare systems are under strain as populations grow and get older. According to the World Health Organization, the proportion of the world’s population aged over 60 will nearly double to 22% by 2050, with much of this growth concentrated in low- and middle-income countries. There will be an increased need for palliative care and the treatment of chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes and dementia.
This first Future Health Index (FHI) report provides a benchmark for 13 countries’ readiness to meet these and other key global healthcare challenges. The report measures this readiness by examining perceptions about the accessibility and level of integration of healthcare services, and the adoption of connected care technology throughout national healthcare systems. It is based on the input and self-reported behaviors of patients and healthcare professionals, which collectively produce a snapshot of how healthcare is experienced on both sides of the treatment room.
Key findings include:
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) tops the index. Thanks to positive views on the state of integration throughout the health system and patient and healthcare professional readiness to adopt technology, the UAE leads other countries on the index by a significant margin.
Developed economies score better in terms of access, while emerging countries are blazing a trail for technology adoption. Three-quarters of healthcare professionals in developed countries agree their patients have access to the treatments they need, while this is only true of 58% of healthcare professionals in developing countries.
Regulations, which have been designed to protect patient privacy in developed countries, present challenges to the free flow of information necessary in integrated, technology-driven healthcare systems. In Germany, for example, 50% of healthcare professionals see privacy and security concerns as the biggest barrier to the adoption of connected care technology.
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