Saturday, August 23, 2014

Economic Impact of an Aging Population on the Healthcare System

The second to last panel discussion features David Brindley as Moderator, Catalina Hoffman and Peter Nakada. 

I find it interesting, how the early years and the last years of life mimic each other. For many of the aging population, it is difficult to care for themselves to the degree they were able to in the past. Embarrassment and isolation can lead to depression, yet some companies aim to enhance the lives of these individuals, spurring development of new solutions, services and products that transform the quality of life of seniors. 

Introducing Hoffmann Elderly, Vitalia and The Hoffmann Method, which is a new system of personal care that takes into account the physical, psychological, cognitive and social needs of its clients, with the objective of improving the quality of life for seniors and their families. This method improves quality of life for this population. If this helps people live longer, albeit not necessarily without disease, what are the economic effects we can expect to see?

Enter Peter Nakada. Well, if you can model it, you can insure it, right? With a background in Risk Management, Peter tell us that statistical models are not the way to go, as they do not capture "regime shifts", such as advancing technology. For example, mortality rates went up during the Industrial Revolution, due to more dangerous jobs using machinery, increased pollution, etc. These are examples of the "regime shifts" that are not accounted for in statistical models. Yet another reason how you measure is just as important as what you measure. 

Studying regenerative medicine, amount of improvement was calculated, along with types of diseases that can be treated by stem cell therapy. It is up to this community to probabalize the benefits of developments such as new organ growth and stem cell treatments. In essence, we need to start thinking about the implications of longevity now, to ensure a better future tomorrow.

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