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Fall 2021 - Innovation

The Future of Medicine: How Care Delivery Is Changing

The healthcare system is poised to change more in the next decade than it has in the past 50 years. At the root of this dynamic is an aging population and a pandemic that is transforming the way healthcare is delivered. These are exciting times, but they will also likely be fraught with significant challenges. 

With one out of five Americans reaching retirement age by 2030 and elderly adults expected to outnumber children just five years later, the number of available healthcare workers to provide care will likely be insufficient to meet demand. But, as we discuss in our article “Impacts of an Aging Demographic on Healthcare” (p.16), the industry is eyeing alternatives to meet this demand, including technological innovation and preventive care. Digital health apps to monitor chronic conditions, telehealth appointments and Internet access to medical resources and information will help to potentially increase care access and minimize costs. In addition, many healthcare organizations and a growing number of start-ups are promoting preventive health services to help seniors live more independently and avoid the high cost of hospitalizations and long-term care.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic is also contributing to the healthcare shortage due to overburdened resources, logistical challenges and declining revenues. Recognizing this, primary care practices are adapting by expanding their services into the retail market. In our article “Expansion of Primary Care in a Post-COVID-19 World” (p.24), we delve into the many ways these facilities are increasing access to care through telemedicine, as well as providing services in big-box settings such as Walmart and CVS that offer wellness and prevention programs and upfront fee disclosures. Indeed, overcoming financial barriers to care is paramount to care access, which could be achieved by reimbursing pharmacists who provide healthcare services such as vaccination and counseling. 

It is becoming increasingly clear that predictive medicine could be key to preventing the risk of disease. In our article “Predictive Medicine: How DNA Testing Is Influencing Healthcare” (p.28), Brandon Colby, MD, founder and CEO of Sequencing.com, the world’s largest platform for DNA testing and analysis, gives readers a bird’s-eye view of how genetic testing and whole genome sequencing can help predict what disease risk a person might face, as well as suggest ways to prevent it and devise a treatment plan. As Dr. Colby explains, it’s about changing the paradigm of healthcare from a “sick care” model to one focused on personalized prevention of disease. 

As always, we hope you enjoy the additional articles addressing the ways in which healthcare is evolving in this issue of BioSupply Trends Quarterly, and find them both relevant and helpful to your practice. 

Helping Healthcare Care,

Patrick M. Schmidt

Publisher

Patrick M. Schmidt
Patrick M. Schmidt is the publisher of BioSupply Trends Quarterly magazine.