In The Spotlight
The health care industry, or medical industry, is an aggregation of sectors within the economic system that provides goods and services to treat patients with curative, preventive, rehabilitative, and palliative care. The modern health care industry is divided into many sectors and depends on interdisciplinary teams of trained professionals and paraprofessionals to meet health needs of individuals and populations.
The health care industry is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing industries. It is also one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the global economy, estimated to reach over US$7.0 trillion by the end of 2015, with US$700 billion in emerging economies. This growth can be expected to continue during the next decade. It comprises several subsectors: 1. Clinical Services (Hosptials, Clinics, Diagnostics etc); 2. Non clinical services (Health Insurnace, Management, Health Eduction, Research and Development); and 3. Manufacturing (Pharmaceuticals, Medical Equipment, and Health Information Technology,
Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals. By estimating the overall risk of health careand health system expenses, among a targeted group, an insurer can develop a routine finance structure, such as a monthly premium or payroll tax, to ensure that money is available to pay for the health care benefits specified in the insurance agreement. The benefit is administered by a central organization such as a government agency, private business, or not-for-profit entity. According to the Health Insurance Association of America, health insurance is defined as "coverage that provides for the payments of benefits as a result of sickness or injury. Includes insurance for losses from accident, medical expense, disability, or accidental death and dismemberment" (pg. 225).
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment with specialized staff and equipment. The best-known type of hospital is the general hospital, which has an emergency department. A district hospital typically is the major health care facility in its region, with large numbers of beds for intensive care and long-term care. Specialised hospitals include trauma centres, rehabilitation hospitals, children's hospitals, seniors' (geriatric) hospitals, and hospitals for dealing with specific medical needs such as psychiatric problems (see psychiatric hospital) and certain disease categories. Specialised hospitals can help reduce health care costs compared to general hospitals.
The pharmaceutical industry develops, produces, and markets drugs or pharmaceuticals for use as medications. Pharmaceutical companies may deal in generic or brand medications and medical devices. They are subject to a variety of laws and regulations that govern the patenting, testing, safety, efficacy and marketing of drugs.
Health technology is the application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives. This includes the pharmaceuticals, devices, procedures and organizational systems used in health care.
Medical technology, which is a proper subset of health technology, encompasses a wide range of healthcare products and is used to diagnose, monitor or treat diseases or medical conditions affecting humans.
Significant risks and opportunities are driving businesses to shed the inefficiencies of the past or go the way of the dinosaur. This is especially true in Healthcare. Given the personal and professional impact of timely, cost efficient and most importantly effective treatments, today’s global healthcare industry faces enormous challenges and opportunities. Effectively trying to manage both ends of that spectrum is forcing executives out of the boardroom and into the supply chain. Here’s a look at the health care challenges of today.