America's healthcare challenges and successes will change drastically over the next few decades. While alarming health issues like diabetes and obesity rates may rise, better technology and tests can help prevent many health problems. New challenges should be expected over the next 10-20 years as health needs increase in the country.
The CDC predicts that as many as 33% of people in America may have a diagnosis of diabetes by the year 2050. Currently, about 79 million Americans are pre-diabetic, meaning that they are at an increased risk of developing diabetes. Many of these people are not aware that they are at risk, which means they aren't making necessary changes to prevent diabetes in the future.
Some evidence suggests that as many as half of all American adults will be considered obese in 2030. Nutrition and lack of exercise are contributing to high rates of obesity in adults and children. Obesity in turn increases the risk of many other health conditions. It's important to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine. If you enjoy fitness, consider teaching a class to help others see the benefits.
The estimated number of people over the age of 65 will increase by as much as 80% from 2010 until 2030. The increased number of older adults predicts an increased demand for health care services, including long term care. Getting a master's degree gerontology can help you get the education required to bring awareness to the public about solutions needed in regards to an aging population.
Bacteria are increasingly becoming resistant to existing antibiotics. Without new treatments, diseases that are currently treated with antibiotics could be increasingly deadly and harder to treat. It's important that the public becomes more aware of this, as both doctors and patients abuse antibiotics and take them when they aren't always needed.
Shortage of Doctors
Primary Care Physicians are already in short supply, and by 2020, there may be as many as 20,000 fewer primary care providers than are needed. This shortage may result in more nurse practitioners and other professionals taking on duties currently provided by doctors. While a career in healthcare has always been known to be rewarding for many, it continues to be a career that's in demand.
The number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease is expected to double every 20 years. The number of family caregivers, the need for longterm care providers, and the costs of treatment to the nation will increase as the number of people affected increases.
One positive aspect of the future of health is that technology is becoming more of a factor in the quality of care. Patients will be able to use smart phone apps and patient portals to access and share information. The easy access to information helps people to make good choices to maintain their health.
Overall, as the population ages and some health issues increase, the increasing need for quality health care is important. More healthcare providers for aging adults will be needed to help support future needs. Technology, increased awareness, and new treatments may also help to avoid some of the worst case scenarios.