An increased emphasis on preventive healthcare is likely to be an important component of the proposed restructuring of the U.S. healthcare system making its way through Congress in the summer and fall of 2009. As one of the key architects of the new healthcare plan, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, expressed it:
“For the sake of Americans’ health, and to truly change the economics of our healthcare system, the U.S. must dramatically shift its healthcare focus toward preventing chronic disease. An estimated 80% of heart disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes, and 40% of cancers, could be prevented if Americans stopped smoking, adopted healthy diets, and became more physically active. Despite evidence that preventive services such as smoking cessation work, our health system continues to emphasize expensive treatments. This approach is further complicated by a fractured delivery system in which individuals with chronic conditions often see more than one provider and take multiple medications.
“Prevention must become a cornerstone of the healthcare system rather than an afterthought. This shift requires a fundamental change in the way individuals perceive and access the system as well as the way care is delivered. The system must support clinical preventive services and community-based wellness approaches at the federal, state, and local levels. With a national culture of wellness, chronic disease and obesity will be better managed and, more importantly, reduced.”
While an increased emphasis on preventive healthcare is likely to lead to an improved quality of life for those who practice it, it is debatable whether it will actually result in a long-term reduction in healthcare costs. Some forms of preventive care, such as childhood immunizations, are relatively inexpensive and reduce the need for costly treatment later on.
Other forms of preventive care, such as cancer screening, are expensive relative to the number of potential cancer cases they can detect in the population as a whole. Preventive care in the chronic disease management context, moreover, tends to defer the costs of disease rather than actually reducing them. A 2008 article in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the majority of preventive measures reviewed do not save money, and many of them have a relatively small impact on overall healthcare outcomes.
Such contrarian views notwithstanding, it seems likely that whatever healthcare bill emerges from Congress later in 2009 will have a major preventive healthcare component. One of the healthcare bills being considered by Congress, the American Health Choices Act (AHCA), calls for the development of a National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy, which would set specific goals and objectives for improving the health of the nation through federally-supported prevention, health promotion, and public health programs, and establish measurable actions and timelines for meeting prevention and health promotion goals. The current draft version of the AHCA also calls for the establishment of a Prevention and Public Health Investment Fund to expand and sustain a national investment in prevention and public health programs at a level of $10 billion per year, over and above current FY 2008 levels of funding for prevention, wellness and public health.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The overall goal of this study is to identify and quantify the market opportunities associated with the current emphasis on preventive healthcare, with a particular focus on new technologies that could make a major contribution to preventing disease and other health conditions. In support of this goal, specific objectives of the report include:
- Identifying the most promising preventive-care technologies that have entered the market in recent years or are in advanced development as of 2009
- Estimating the market for these technologies in 2008
- Analyzing the technical, economic and other demand drivers for these products, and other prerequisites of success in these markets
- Projecting the potential markets for these technologies through 2014.
The report is intended especially for vendors of preventive healthcare-related products and services, as well as government agencies, healthcare policy analysts and others seeking to understand the cost and preconditions for success of preventive healthcare initiatives. Although the report focuses on specific technologies, it is largely non-technical in nature. That is, it is concerned less with theory and jargon than with what works, how much of the latter the market is likely to purchase, and at what price.
As such, the report’s main audience is executive management, marketing and financial analysts. It is not written specifically for scientists and technologists, although its findings related to the market for their work, including the availability of government and corporate research funding for different technologies and applications, should interest them as well.
SCOPE OF REPORT
At the broadest level, preventive healthcare includes everything from over-the-counter (OTC) products designed to help users curb smoking or overeating to advanced genetic testing to identify a predisposition to certain cancers or other health problems. However, the scope of this report is limited to products that are available only by prescription, and related professional services that:
- Provide early warning of a disease before it becomes symptomatic.
- Identify a predisposition to disease or other health problem, so that appropriate steps can be taken (e.g., genetic screening for various cancers).
- Protect against or strengthen the body’s resistance to disease (e.g., vaccines).
- Reduce the possibility of unintended adverse impacts from therapy (e.g., adverse drug reactions).
- Are used in the management of chronic medical conditions.
Some of these technologies, such as certain vaccines, are decades old, while others (e.g., cytomics) are still largely at the experimental stage for clinical applications. This report generally focuses on new or emerging technologies, without being too rigid about what constitutes a “new” technology. Technologies of particular interest include genomics, proteomics, cytomics, radiology, nanotechnology, informatics and automation.
The primary focus of the report is on the U.S. market for preventive healthcare technologies and services. However, it also includes a section that highlights major features of the international market for these technologies.
The study format includes the following major elements:
- Types of preventive healthcare technologies and services and their main applications
- Enabling technologies
- End-user segments
- Market environment (legal and regulatory, standards, trends in the healthcare industry, demographic and economic trends, other market drivers and barriers to deployment)
- Detailed market estimates and projections for each preventive healthcare technology or service during the period 2008–2014
- Supplier profiles
- Patent analysis.
Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in conducting this market research. The findings and conclusions of this report are based on information gathered from developers, vendors, integrators and users of preventive healthcare technologies and services. Interview data were combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources, such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and online databases, to produce the baseline market estimates contained in this report.
The base year for analysis and projection is 2008. With 2008 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2009 to 2014. The projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts combined with BCC’s understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective. The specific assumptions and approach BCC used to develop the projections (near and mid-term, and long term) for each application is documented in detail under the various segments addressed. This way, readers can see how the market estimates were developed and, if they so desire, test the impact on the final numbers of changing assumptions regarding such matters as date of regulatory approval. All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2008 constant dollars, and represent market value at the manufacturer level.
The author of this report is Andrew McWilliams. Mr. McWilliams, a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm of 43rd Parallel LLC, is the author of several other BCC Research studies of the healthcare and related industries, including: HLC016C Microelectronic Medical Implants: Products, Technologies & Opportunities, HLC036C Medical Robotics and Computer-Assisted Surgery, HLC051D Trends in the Noninvasive and Minimally Invasive Medical Device Market, HLC038B Patient Monitoring, HLC054A The Home Medical Equipment Market, HLC048B Healthcare Information Technology and HLC066A Medical Automation Technologies, Products and Markets.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.