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Dispatches from the future: A conversation about our industry’s next act


What will U.S. health care look like in the next decade? Will AI be the dominant diagnostic tool? Are targeted gene therapies finally going to revolutionize cancer care on a large scale? Will the transition to value-based payment models be complete?

The questions above aren’t necessarily the ones you should be asking. That’s not to say such questions are unimportant or uninteresting; the opposite is true. But alone, the discussions they engender are incomplete. They focus too much on how the future of health care will be determined from within the health care system itself. Broader societal shifts will have significant impacts on the opportunities and challenges in front of all of us. Rather than providing an interior examination of changes within the health care system, we will share with you the ways large-scale external forces are poised to reshape our industry. 

These blog posts will focus on the effects of demographic shifts and technological advancement on health care across the next decade. Here is a (non-exhaustive) preview:

  • Demographics: For years, population scientists have warned that the aging of baby boomers in the U.S. will cause massive capacity constraints on our health care system. Often left out of the discussion, however, are the concurrent shifts in power and health status that will shape the relative needs, preferences, and influence of subsequent generations.
  • Technology: There is a rich and promising pipeline of new technologies in health care, including AI, 3D printing, and precision medicine. But clinical innovations and computing power are not the only ways technology will change the nature of our industry. The ways people interact with technology—our biases, preferences, and limitations—are likely to accelerate adoption of certain advancement while causing friction elsewhere. And the ways people interact with information and each other, as facilitated by technology, may become one of this sector’s most daunting challenges.

The future of health care demographics

The aging of young people will change health care in the most surprising ways

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