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2014 Global health care outlook

Shared challenges, shared opportunities


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The global health care industry is going through a period of “glocalization,” a term that combines the words “globalization” and “localization” to describe the adaptation of global products or services to accommodate the needs of people in a specific locale. Typically associated with efforts by large consumer companies to boost sales by tailoring their products and menus to appeal to local tastes, glocalization also applies to health care: Industry issues are global, even if care is usually delivered locally. And while the effects of these issues are influenced by local factors, many challenges are shared around the world to varying degrees, as are the opportunities to innovate to solve them.

Total global health spending was expected to rise by 2.6 percent in 2013 before accelerating to an average of 5.3 percent a year over the next four years (2014-2017). This growth will place enormous pressure on governments, health care delivery systems, insurers, and consumers in both developed and emerging markets to deal with issues such as an aging population, the rising prevalence of numerous chronic diseases, soaring costs, uneven quality, imbalanced access to care due to workforce shortages, infrastructure limitations and patient locations, and disruptive technologies.

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