What are the three most lucrative problems to solve in the healthcare industry?

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What are the three most lucrative problems to solve in the healthcare industry?

Hello and thank you for your question about the three most lucrative problems to solve in the healthcare industry. The two most useful sources I found to answer your question were the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicade) report on national healthcare expenditures and the Calyptix report on healthcare data breaches. In short, the three most lucrative problems to solve in the healthcare industry are: spending on healthcare services including hospital stays and physician services; dealing with healthcare data breaches; and implementing emerging technologies. The following is a deep dive of my findings.

BACKGROUND
With the Affordable Care Act, we saw an expansion of coverage in 2014 that stimulated growth in spending across the board in the healthcare industry. In 2015, health care spending increased to $3.2 trillion and this is only expected to grow in the coming years. This increased availability of health insurance coupled with other factors such as an ageing population and new chronic diseases, will only add to the growth of the healthcare industry. As the industry continues to expand, spending issues will need to be addressed quickly and efficiently.

HEALTHCARE SERVICES
Of the many types of services in the healthcare industry, the top share, at 32%, goes to hospital care. Spending in hospital services hit $1 trillion in 2015, which was a 5.6% increase from the previous year. However, hospital price growth was less than 1% in 2015, making that the lowest growth year since 1998.

The next highest share of services goes to physician and clinical services at 20%. This expansion of services meant $634.9 billion for the industry in 2015. This was also the first growth over 6% since 2005. The price growth for this category declined slightly due to changes in medicaid.

The third highest share of healthcare services is prescription drug costs at 10%. Even though prescription drug spending decreased in 2015, it still accounted for $324.6 billion. There were several factors including increased purchase of generic drugs and fewer name-brand drugs exiting patent protection.

HEALTHCARE DATA BREACHES
A growing concern for the healthcare industry is the cost of data breaches. As of 2016, the data breaches resulted in a loss of $6.2 billion to the sector. The average cost of a breach in this industry in 2016, was $402. That is twice the average found the in the retail sector. Due to heavy regulation by HIPAA and other legal ties, a single data breach for the healthcare industry is more devastating than those experienced even in the energy sectors.

Other hidden costs of data breaches in the healthcare industry fall in areas of customer loss and brand destruction. These issues will need to be addressed by the development of response teams and emergency plans. According to Grandview research, the data cyber security market for healthcare is estimated to be reach a value of $10.85 billion by 2022.

EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES
New and innovative healthcare technologies are being developed at faster speeds. These emerging technologies have the possibility of increasing positive patient outcomes and reducing costs in the field. Developments such as virtual patient monitoring and robotic surgery are already making great strides in patient care. For example, remote patient monitoring is estimated to save about $4000 per year among the elderly population and also projects to save about 4 million less visits in the 36 million hospital visits that are made in an year,

Initially, these innovations are costly to implement. However, with their increased use, entrance prices will drop. The healthcare industry will need to set aside more for research and development of these new technologies, opening the field for more competition and more affordable systems.

CLOSING
In conclusion, the three most lucrative problems to solve in the healthcare industry come down to managing the costs of healthcare services, data breaches, and emerging technologies. Thank you for using Wonder! Please let us know if we can help you with anything else.

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