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Healthcare

Introduction

In terms of the world’s meta-problems one of the largest demanding immediate attention is the continuing rising costs of healthcare provision. For example, it is estimated that in 2010 Americans spent over $2.6 trillion on healthcare services, representing 17.6 % of the country’s entire GDP (Whittington et al. 2015). This is nearly three times the country’s annual defence spending and twice the level of spending on education (Hartman et al. 2010). The factors influencing this cost spiral include (1) ongoing advances in medical technology, (2) rising levels of obesity and (3) population ageing. This third factor is especially critical because older people are usually affected by expensive illnesses such as cancer, heart diseases and mental problems like dementia. The cost impact of population ageing is reflected by the fact that although in the USA individuals over the age of 65 years represent only 13 % of the population, they account for nearly one-third of healthcare expenses.

In those cases where the government funds a major proportion of healthcare provision, ongoing affordability has become an unmanageable burden of the welfare state. Similarly where healthcare is funded through © The Author(s) 2017

I. Chaston, Technological Entrepreneurship,

DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-45850-2_11

medical insurance, premiums have become a massive burden for employers or individuals. As a consequence governments and employers recognise the need to make healthcare provision more cost effective and patient orientated. The most effective strategy for effecting change probably in areas such as treatment delivery, remote patient monitoring and ongoing advances in medical technology (Chaston 2016).

 
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