Archive for April 24th, 2009

Future Population Trends

April 24, 2009

Describing three future population trends, and discussing the potential impact of those trends on the development of new health care informatics systems. Changes is society, technology and health care are three population trends that will effect the development of new health care systems. 1. Societal trends: With the average age of the aging population increasing and the decline in deaths and births, the elderly population will be using significantly more health care resources then the younger groups. This would mean the larger number of elderly and the health status of the elderly population will have a major impact on the health care industry. The changes in racial and ethnic demographics will also have an effect on the development of new health care systems. A huge challenge for the health care industry, as well as software and systems designers, is to recognize and accommodate the needs of an increasingly diverse population. Increased access to the Internet is providing increased access to health care information, including evidence of lifestyle changes with a positive impact on health. A future trend would be for the consumer to take responsibility for his/her own health care. 2. Technology trends: With the rapid advancement in technology and computing, the cost of computer hardware will be driven down. This will enable a larger segment of the community to purchase and use computers to obtain information over the Internet. It is forecast the level of dependency on computer use in our society will increase dramatically. 3. Health Care trends: The development of information technology will impact all aspects of health care. It will become easier and faster to collect, compile and share data internationally and locally in regards to treatments of community health care challenges such as HIV/AIDS. Increase education and access to information will empower both provider and consumers. The consumer will engage in shared decision making with their provider. The fast pace of introducing new technologies, will significantly increase the number of new technologies available such s minimal invasive surgeries, genetic mapping and the use of specialized microchips for individual therapies such as pumps, artificial blood and other body parts.

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