The 4 Forces of Change

Change is happening faster, and on a bigger scale than at perhaps any time in human history. These 4 big changes will impact everyone and every industry, including biomedicine and health.

Global change is all around us, and I'm not just talking about the climate. We can almost taste it. But, as described by the authors of “No Ordinary Disruption,” change is happening faster, and on a bigger scale than at perhaps any time in human history. These 4 big changes will impact everyone and every industry, including biomedicine and health. They are:

The age of urbanization. The growth of the big city will drive innovation as connectedness and innovation zones continue to grow. Health systems will be stressed to provide sick care and disease-prevention services to a vast array of socioeconomic and demographic groups who will develop lifestyle diseases. Population health management will be more difficult. Medtech, biotech, and digital health markets will continue to explode outside of the US. International bioentrepreneurship will be an essential skill set.

Rapid technological change. Since there is no Moore's law in biomedical technologies, costs will continue to escalate. More technology developed faster with shorter market half-lives will force us to create a better way to decide whether to use or abandon the technologies based on the value they add.

The aging world. Aging populations and a shrinking birth rate will create big social, medical, and economic upheaval. By 2013, about 60% of the world’s population lived in countries with fertility rates below the replacement rate. The situation is particularly acute in Asia.

Greater global connections. Money, technology, people, and information are finding their way around the world. They go to where they are treated best and encounter the least resistance. The impact will be seen on bioborn global companies, medical travel, and the spread of potentially fatal infectious diseases, but the shift will also make it easier to do business in emerging markets that are modernizing and growing a middle class.

There are many changes impacting the global development of biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to those mentioned above, you can throw in commoditization, democratization, personalization, and consumerization of care. That's a lot of balls in the air to juggle if you are a bioentrepreneur. The only thing more exciting are the opportunities.