Data-driven opportunities for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise in HealthCare in the Caribbean

HealthCare sectors in the Caribbean, are often overwhelmed by the immediate challenges of service delivery – specifically, the provision of an acceptable quality of health care service at a reasonable cost. The predominant focus on these operational issues, while important, may cause policymakers and practitioners in the public and private sectors of the Caribbean Health Sector to lose sight of significant innovation and entrepreneurial opportunities being created in Healthcare as a result of the Digital Revolution.

Healthcare, globally, is facing unprecedented changes. This is driven primarily by the need to control the ever rising cost, estimated to exceed $9 trillion a year globally in 2017, which is consuming an escalating share of income in developed and developing nations alike. With the increasing number of people 65 years and older, the chronic disease burden, now already accounting for 80% of the above mentioned global health care costs, there is a strong upward pressure to these costs. Coupled with this trend, the informed, engaged and increasingly empowered consumer is demanding improved quality of and access to care, providing another source of strong upward pressure to healthcare costs.

This double-dilemma of increasing cost pressures and service quality demand can only really be addressed by technology and business model innovations that enable radical changes to the way healthcare is delivered. Aside from needing to be evidence based and outcome driven, the radically novel healthcare approaches are increasingly preventative, predictive, personalized, ubiquitous, robot assisted and minimally invasive as they enable shorter hospital stays, home recovery and assisted but independent living for the elderly.

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