Himachal Mukhopadhyay has spent decades keeping current with advances in technology and medicine to provide the highest quality healthcare and educate patients on growing trends. Here, he discusses the rise in both aging population and cost of healthcare, and how the industry will have to adjust to compensate.
As medicine and technology continue to develop and improve, Himachal Mukhopadhyay wonders how the future of healthcare will cope with people living into their 100s or 150s. Already, medicine is allowing many patients to either surpass their illnesses or learn to cope and live with symptoms. This is having a broad-reaching effect on the total healthcare industry and will continue to do so for decades or generations to come.
“Technological growth has been exponential in the past two decades––thanks in part to the large sums of money being poured into the healthcare industry to provide more effective treatments,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “As a result, people are living longer and will need more specialized healthcare to continue living.”
Because there’s such a steep rise in the international aging population, healthcare costs are climbing higher and healthcare systems are reevaluating quality management to meet new needs. However, because the cost of healthcare is going up, it also negatively affects the performance of healthcare providers in developing or underdeveloped countries.
“The number of people aged 65 and older is expected to double by the year 2050, which means our healthcare industry must quickly grow to accommodate new common health threats,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay.
The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that the rapid increase in the number of elderly patients worldwide is attributed to modern medicine defeating the leading causes of death. More often, death was due to infections or chronic noncommunicable diseases that today’s medicine and vaccines can now treat. As healthcare professionals learn to defeat things like congestive heart failure, dementia, and cancer, the elderly population becomes more susceptible to things like injuries from falls and health threats associated with obesity (because of lowered metabolism).
One of the major new concerns that doctors are uncovering is the prevalence of disabilities as life expectancy increases. Modern medicine slows down the progression of diseases so that many people can live alongside their symptoms. However, chronic diseases evolving into common disabilities means they will be more widespread, and the healthcare industry will have to come up with new solutions to help patients sustain a happy life.
“Defeating diseases is a wonderful thing and allows so many people to live truly happier lives,” says Himachal Mukhopadhyay. “The problem is, the number of people living with disabilities will ultimately increase as patients live longer, and new challenges arise.”
Already, the healthcare industry is tackling these concerns and aims to provide real sustaining solutions for those living with disabilities in the next couple of decades.