Chapter 1: The Future of Health – A Consumer Perspective

The trends reshaping health and the future implications for the Australian marketplace.

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Australians spend a significant amount of money on health via direct payments, insurance premiums and taxes with total expenditure continuing to grow.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Wellness Australia’s health 2016 report this represented during 2013-14 9.8% of gross domestic product (GDP), however as the population continues to expand, our demographic profile matures, adverse behavioural impacts such as chronic disease (e.g. cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity) reshape demand, consumer expectations continue to rise and technology permeates the sector, the impact of health as a percentage of GDP is likely to rise significantly.

While Australia’s healthcare system produces good outcomes by global standards, there’s an opportunity for all of us to re-orientate the system towards improved outcomes and overall well-being.

Economic efficiency is only one dimension of this change with the emergence of technologies such as digital, big data, genomics and most importantly, the acute focus on the human dimension shifting the narrative towards a ‘system thinking’ based approach orientated around the consumer.

New and innovative models are emerging such as 4P Medicine which are assisting in redefining health towards:

  • Prevention – Lifestyle behaviours and overall wellbeing are known as key drivers behind a range of medical challenges;
  • Prediction – Health data and analytics are increasingly being used to inform health practices;
  • Personalisation – ‘Small data’ provides a ‘feedback loop’ to reshape behaviours; and
  • Participation – Self-medication, self-monitoring, patient decision making, goal setting and physical care are all central towards orientating health around the patient.

A fundamental recalibration of focus from ‘volume to value’ is also needed to ensure a system where the outcomes that matter most to patients are prioritised.

We’ve been very fortunate to obtain some wonderful insights and case studies from a range of industry stakeholders to contribute to these publications which highlight the emerging pathways and challenges faced.

NAB remains committed to providing insights to our customers and the community to navigate these emerging trends.

For full analysis, download the report: