2024 Healthcare Forecast: Personalized, decentralized and green

  • Trends
    Publications and Reports
  • Sector
    Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Countries

The healthcare industry is moving towards more personalized and decentralized models to serve the needs of individuals and communities. This is one of the key takeaways from LLYC’s new 2024 Healthcare Forecast report, which highlights the main challenges the sector will face in the coming years. Due to the pandemic, budget constraints, an aging population, economic inequality, and an increase in non-communicable diseases have led to long wait times. To overcome these challenges, governments, medical professionals, and patients need to come up with creative solutions.

 The paper highlights increased public awareness of self-care and lifestyle habits, the role of caregivers in improving patients’ health, and the need for transparency and inclusion in clinical research. The healthcare sector will adopt the One Health approach (unifying human, animal, and environmental health), and the process of destigmatizing mental illness will continue. Big data and artificial intelligence will accelerate drug and vaccine development, and innovation and technology will converge to improve medical care.

“2024 will be a year of immense challenges for the healthcare sector, but there are also reasons for optimism,” says Gina Rosell, Partner and Senior Director of Health Europe at LLYC. “There is strong concern about the sustainability of healthcare services, and all public and private actors must work together to improve the situation. Research and technology are playing a crucial role in providing assistance. Their impact is very important to make progress in treatments or drugs that make life easier for patients.”

The 2024 Healthcare Forecast highlights these trends:

  • Better habits and increased personal healthcare awareness. The IPSOS Global Trends 2023 survey reveals that people remain concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare systems worldwide. With the growing demand for healthcare services and an aging population, waiting lists are increasing, causing concern over access to quality medical care. 83% of citizens want more control over their healthcare while still trusting regulatory bodies, science, and vaccines to solve major health issues. People are increasingly interested in self-care, seeking information about treatments, health policies and the consumption of products such as vitamins. Forty percent of consumers already do so via the Internet.
  • Empowering caregivers to improve patient health. Regardless of whether they are family members or professionals, caregivers provide care and support at home. Unfortunately, caregivers often face adverse health consequences due to the lack of personal space for social, leisure, or self-care activities.
  • Increased pressure on health system sustainability. Managing healthcare is an ongoing challenge for states and other healthcare providers due to the pandemic, demographic changes, and persisting inequalities. It is crucial to ensure universal and equitable access. However, despite advances, financial pressure affects the sustainability of health systems. Collaboration between pharmaceutical and technology companies can enhance efficiency and accessibility of medical devices and drugs, leading to economic and social advancement.
  • Greater transparency and inclusion in clinical research. Diversity in clinical trials is essential to ensure adequate medicines for all people. Nevertheless, back in 1977, the FDA recommended excluding women of childbearing age from clinical trials, creating a data gap on how the drugs affected them. From the start, women activists protested against this exclusion, which led to the approval of the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical trials in 1993. Since then, the NIH has ensured diversity in clinical research by designing trials to analyze specific impacts in this area.
  • One Health approach: unifying environment, animals and human health. The One Health concept addresses health in an integrated manner, recognizing the interconnection between human, animal and environmental health. WHO estimates that 60% of infectious diseases are of animal origin, highlighting the importance of addressing zoonoses. One Health goes beyond disease transmission to include economic, environmental and food safety aspects. Collaboration at local, regional and global levels is crucial, with public policies that not only address current problems, but also prevent and mitigate future risks.
  • Corporate social responsibility: the Sustainable Development Goals and ESG. The growing demand for social responsibility drives companies, including those in the health sector, to consider their impact on people and the planet. The social aspect of ESG highlights the business-society relationship, addressing issues such as labor conditions, gender equality and collaboration in social projects. These criteria are aligned with the UN Agenda 2030. To meet them, public-private collaboration is needed to establish policies to move towards sustainable goals. 
  • Destigmatizing mental illness. Destigmatizing mental illness is essential, with 1 in 8 people affected according to WHO in 2019, and a significant increase during the pandemic. Factors such as poverty, violence, and inequality contribute to risk. In a technological world, addressing mental health at the institutional and societal level is imperative. Communication plays a key role, requiring affective strategies to avoid stigmatization in media and social media. Transforming public perception is crucial to obtaining support and effective treatment policies.
  • Increased access to pharmacological innovation and health technologies. With tight budgets in health systems, access to pharmacological innovations remains a challenge, WHO highlights the importance of equitable access as a requirement for universal health services. FIFARMA found that access to innovations in oncology and rare diseases is low, averaging 13%, and access time varies significantly in Latin American countries. Therefore, a collaborative approach is needed that addresses the regulation, value, and cost of innovation, putting the patient at the center of decisions to ensure rapid and beneficial access to health.
  • More and better solutions for devastating diseases with very few treatment options. The combination of standard therapies, immunotherapy, and innovative gene and cell therapies is showing promising results in cancer. Of particular note is CAR-T therapy, which reprograms immune cells in the laboratory to attack cancer cells. Although expensive and complex, it has been effective in hematological cancers. Personalized medicine offers hope for diseases considered incurable, with further advances, especially in oncology, immunology, and infections.
  • Big data and artificial intelligence accelerate drug and vaccine development. The convergence of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing healthcare. The market will grow to nearly $70 billion by 2025. These technologies accelerate drug development by reducing timelines and improving efficiency. In addition, AI enables accurate and personalized diagnoses, anticipating health problems. Economically, it simplifies administrative tasks and raises the quality of medical care. This trend is expected to reach its peak in the next two years.
  • Immunization: time for seniors and children. The decline in vaccination, exacerbated by the pandemic, affects both children and adults. Nearly 40 million children will not receive the measles vaccine by 2021. Now, the focus is on adults, influenced by the anti-vaccine movement. Effective communication is key to closing the immunization gap and preventing the spread of preventable diseases.
  • New technologies bringing health closer to patients. The healthcare of the future is being shaped at the intersection of technology and innovation. Advanced medical devices, remote patient management and technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence are transforming healthcare. Telemedicine, backed by Big Data, overcomes geographic barriers and reaches remote areas. Less invasive surgeries, online medical education and the convergence of trends point to a future of personalized, decentralized and optimized healthcare, offering broader and more efficient access to quality medical services. 

Access the full 2024 Healthcare Forecast here.