Where to next?
Society is at a tipping point where smartHEALTH will place new obligations on the individual to actively minimise critical care through preventative health programs. In return, the individual will be empowered to negotiate their health contract based on their risk profile and real time data. A commitment to a Health Plan that is monitored and evidenced by data.
Smart watch and fit-bit technology allows for individual geo tracking, data collection and health monitoring. Will there be a shift from insurance industry demographic risk profiling to a personal plan based upon individual data? E-Health, telehealth monitoring and smartHEALTH will be the new language.
How well are we achieving active living priorities and what is the level of investment needed to deliver real change in our suburbs, work places and cities? HEALTHY SPACES & PLACES – A national guide to designing places for healthy living, establishes core design principles to plan healthy communities.
‘Our sedentary, car-dependent lifestyles are significant contributing factors to the prevalence of preventable health issues. Development practices have contributed to these problems by often giving priority to cars (vehicular movement) rather than encouraging people to walk, cycle and use public transport’ (Healthy Spaces and Places 2009)
Lifestyle data consolidation, combined with ongoing urban research into ‘suburban health profiles’ will further inform community risks. This will undoubtedly shape forward health investment and insurance premiums.
The cost of healthcare is a challenge for government and the individual alike. It is rising faster than inflation at around 6% per annum in Australia. This forward trajectory will place increasing preventative health responsibility on the individual.
Seventy percent of Australians will be diagnosed with a chronic illness of which the greater majority are preventable. Heart disease is the single leading cause at 30% of deaths globally and impacts 1:6 Australians. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes and stress are modifiable behavioural and bio-medical factors that contribute significantly to the $10B burden of health costs.
Combined government expenditure into critical care infrastructure, Medicare, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), research and NGO funding is a significant commitment in excess of 10% of Federal Budget expenditure and growing. The insurance industry is passing on increased costs to consumers at between 4.5-7.5% per annum.