For many who are in the healthcare and wellness industry, one can almost instantly feel the innumerable changes that have evolved along with the changing times. The majority of the population has shown significant interest and concern about health and wellness as indicated by the numerous wellness centers or spa facilities catering to all who want to boost their health conditions. Another indication is the gained popularity and support of health TV programs hosted by professional doctors and other healthcare providers. Everybody seemed to be agog over health issues and anything health-related. Many have recovered from the Affordable Care Act controversies and an empowered consumer is significantly changing the landscape of healthcare and wellness.
Wellness and Good Health
Healthcare and wellness, two essential terms that have shined in every known society in the past few years. Historically and by all known definitions, wellness and good health are practical evidence of freedom from any serious disease or medical condition. Hence, if one isn’t sick, he is labeled healthy. Unfortunately, the changing times have an impact on such perception on the real meaning of wellness. While most people will concur that a person not festered by any illness is basically healthy, it doesn’t account in any way for the person’s well-being.
Wellness-related research studies showed that health-conscious Americans who spend time taking care of themselves have made healthy lifestyle choices. And they tend to be happier, more productive, eager to work, and expectedly, reduced healthcare expenses. It is, therefore, safe to say that a person’s wellness is more or less dictated now by healthy lifestyles and self-care. And depending on the current health trends, one can make informed decisions on healthcare trends and one’s wellness.
Top Trends in Healthcare and Wellness
Metro Naps or Sleep Centers for Sleep-deprived society
Many progressive western communities are lacking in quality sleep which oftentimes causes people’s sluggishness, clumsiness, unhappiness, and stupidity. Most people in today’s world are Tired All The Time or TATT Syndrome, a phrase coined by social observers. In reality, with or without the phraseology, quality and sufficient sleep are one of the foreseen next huge medical and social issues if one is to base on the statistics – in 1900 the average number of hours spent by an American is 9 hours every night compared to the current average at 6.9 hours; In Australia, only 4 sleep clinics existed in 1985 compared to current number at 70. In New York, a company called Metro Naps sells sleep to super-stressed New Yorkers at US$14 for a quarter of an hour.
With the numerous medical and healthcare apps available nowadays, patients may demand 24/7 access to their full medical records or the likelihood of having every patient access his medical records through an iPad or other mobile gadget. This is a direction the medical industry may traverse in the very near future.
It is believed that in the coming years, treatment programs or even drugs may be customized for specific groups or individuals. This is owing to the fact that 90% of drugs don’t seem to be effective for 30% of the patients. Health diets are already being customized according to the needs of specific groups or individuals and it will not be surprising if genetically based treatment options become available soon. A projected scenario in 2033 – a patient who has supplied a blood sample will receive an email from the supermarket informing of what diet one should and should not have to prolong life expectancy by another twenty years. Such a diet will not be that unique other people will share certain characteristics, say ethnic groups having different tolerance for specific foods. This scenario would be highly ideal for people with complex and problematic DNA profiles and such diet/treatment options will prove to be significantly beneficial.
Another likely trend is home hospitalization – healthcare providers will move towards home-based monitoring, remote diagnosis, and home-based treatment. This will result from the unstoppable increasing costs of hospitalization and treatment along with improvement in better wireless communication and remote monitoring technologies. An aging population will also drive this scenario. The current situation where patients aged 65 and above are clogging up many hospitals plus the availability of self-diagnosis medical equipment like a portable automated external defibrillator or AED can definitely make way for this trend to turn real for not very long.
The US government is now initiating research efforts on how actual combat experience can be “downloaded” into the heads of new air force recruits. There are some research studies that have already figured out how to operate machines simply by thinking about the action required which could be beneficial for people with disabilities and impairments. How long before one can “download” one’s life into another brain or machine?
Corporations and business entities are projected to making a sizeable investment in corporate wellness programs that can drive improved performance of workers and marked productivity in the workplace. Research work spanning over 10 years has consistently brought results showing effective workplace wellness programs in terms of productivity and performance leading to improved and increased business activities for the corporations and business entities.
A Revolution in Healthcare Provision
The still improving power of connectivity will enable the healthcare industry to reduce dependence on expensive health facilities and provide patients with more control over their health and wellness. The patient-centered healthcare system will open the doors to other viable industry participants such as health/well/spa and medical tourism.