The current state of the medical industry:
The medical industry includes not only medical institutions such as hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies, but also pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of medical equipment and sanitary goods, and the medical distribution industry.
Current status of medical institutions
The overall management situation of medical institutions is not very good, and it is said that 40% of hospitals in International countries are in the red. With the super-aging population, medical expenses are being curtailed, and hospital management is expected to become even more difficult in the future.
Current status of the pharmaceutical industry
Pharmaceuticals are broadly divided into “medical drugs” and “over-the-counter drugs,” and medical drugs that require a doctor’s prescription account for more than 90% of the market. Among the medicines, the ones that are in high demand are those prescribed for so-called lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
There are many lifestyle-related diseases for which no definitive treatment has been established, and there are many fields such as cancer and Alzheimer’s syndrome where new drugs are awaited. Many pharmaceutical companies are developing new drugs to meet these so-called “unmet medical needs.”
Current status of the medical device / medical supplies industry
Refers to devices that perform diagnosis and measurement for treatment such as endoscopes and MRI, and the latter refers to devices used to treat diseases such as pacemakers and artificial joints.
Demand in the medical device industry is relatively stable, and the market size is expected to expand further in the future due to the aging population and the development of medical technology.
The labor shortage is a serious issue:
First, while medical needs are certain to surge, they may not be able to meet the growing needs. With the arrival of the elderly aged 75 and over, the risk of chronic diseases such as dementia and cancer will increase, and the demand for medical care will further increase.
However, even today, sites that are in serious labor shortage may not be able to meet the increasing demand and may not be able to receive the necessary medical care. In addition, if the shortage of human resources is not fundamentally resolved, medical workers such as doctors and nurses will be forced to work harder, which may lead to a large turnover and a vicious cycle.
The impact on the long-term care industry is also serious. In a super-aging society, the demand for long-term care services will inevitably increase, and as it stands, the financial resources for long-term care insurance will be severe.
In addition, the shortage of human resources for long-term care facilities and caregivers has already become a major problem, and there are many cases where even elderly people who are certified as requiring long-term care cannot enter the long-term care facility. If this situation continues, it is predicted that more and more elderly people will lose their place after 2025.
Trends in the medical industry and the future:
Construction of a comprehensive community care system
It is expected that a “comprehensive community care system” will be built as a mechanism to support the elderly in the future. In the comprehensive community care system, “medical care,” “nursing care,” “housing,” “prevention,” and “life support” are provided centrally to live in a familiar place even if the patient is in severe need of long-term care. Specific measures to realize this comprehensive community care system include the following
⦁ Establishment of Regional Comprehensive Support Center
⦁ Maintenance of 24-hour home medical care and home-visit care
⦁ Development of elderly homes for low-income elderly people
⦁ Creating a place for the elderly to utilize coffee shops and universities
⦁ Volunteer shopping support for the elderly
Local governments nationwide are considering these efforts to build a comprehensive community care system. It is important to further enhance home-based services and independence support-type services, and create a system that makes elderly people feel “motivated to live.”
Controlling medical costs with generic drugs
Generic drugs are also called “generic drugs” and are low-priced drugs manufactured and sold by other pharmaceutical companies with the same active ingredients and efficacy as the original drugs after the end of the exclusive manufacturing and sales period of new drugs (original drugs). In the case of generic drugs, it is possible to sell them at a low price because there is no need to recover the huge cost of developing new drugs.
Replacing generic drugs with low drug prices with original drugs is expected to have a great effect on curbing medical expenses, and the government has also announced the promotion of the use of generic drugs.
Popularization of smart healthcare services, etc.
Smart healthcare is a medical service that utilizes the IoT (Internet of Things), VR (Virtual Reality), and AR (Augmented Reality).
A specific example is a service that uses a wearable device equipped with a sensor to measure vital signs such as body temperature, pulse, and blood pressure, and sends the data to the appropriate medical institution via a network. Wearable devices are information terminals that are worn on the body and used, and in the medical field, smartwatches and VR goggles are used.
Some of the benefits of using smart health care include:
⦁ The acquired data can be used for patients’ disease prevention and health management.
⦁ It is possible to improve the efficiency of measurement and at the same time monitor multiple patients, which can contribute to solving the labor shortage.
⦁ Since data can be acquired and confirmed even from remote locations, it will lead to the spread and promotion of remote medical care.
⦁ Data collected from various patients can be collected and used as medical big data for epidemiological research.
In this way, smart health care is considered to have great benefits for both patients and doctors. If it becomes more widespread in the future, the situation surrounding the medical field may improve significantly.
The current situation surrounding the medical industry is generally severe, and there are still many issues that need to be resolved immediately. In addition, due to the rapid development of medical technology, the situation in the medical industry is expected to change rapidly in the future.
The medical world is also required to clarify the current issues and take appropriate measures in response to changes in the times
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