(Don’t) Call the Doctor! – U.S. Medical Treatment to 2024
Despite major advances in medicine like antibiotics and vaccines, the United States relies on an outdated treatment model. Today, an individual feels sick and sees a doctor. The physician then decides to write a prescription, refer a specialist, or send the patient home. This time intensive process is being pushed to the breaking point as an aging, increasingly overweight population demands greater care. Government legislation making health insurance more accessible further strains the current system. Experts predict that if left unchanged, these trends will create a shortage of roughly 50,000 physicians, leaving many American patients at risk. To solve this alarming development, this report examines how evolving technologies can dramatically alter the future of U.S. medical treatment over the next 10 years.
In order to establish a defensible future medical treatment model, this report forecasts the annual number of physician visits. Adding to this baseline forecast, the report develops four alternative scenarios: Dr. Do-Little, Dr. Do-More, Dr. Do-Nothing, and Dr. Do-Everything. These scenarios illustrate potential futures and their strategic implications. This research method ultimately illustrates expected growth in a digital treatment model. The report explains that continued investment in security and technological innovation will motivate patients and physicians to adopt a digital treatment model. Gradually solving the issue of doctor shortages, this expected future offers an optimistic view for the current healthcare industry. However, the report concludes by illustrating concrete steps that key stakeholders can take today to drive change and transform medical treatment beyond the current model.