Healthcare systems around the world are struggling to deliver accessible and affordable care amid increased demand from a growing middle class, aging populations and changes in our natural environment. Obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions are no longer problems for developed regions of the world only – they now account for 83 percent of mortalities in developing nations as well.
As individuals and families, each of us utilizes and impacts healthcare systems; by creating the right incentives and tools to help people maintain their own well-being, we may relieve some pressure on our limited healthcare resources. Changing our habits is usually hard, even the ones that might benefit us. While people know better and generally aspire to be healthy, we still have trouble changing unhealthy behaviors. What can business and community leaders do to make individual behavior change easier? How can our healthcare systems evolve so that they remain sustainable for the long-term? Where do we start?
These questions were posed to leading experts representing businesses, non-governmental organizations, start-ups and government at the 2014 Social Innovation Summit (SIS), held at the United Nations. Individuals and organizations at the center of technology, investment, philanthropy, international development and business come together twice per year at SIS to investigate solutions and catalyze inspired partnerships that are disrupting history. The summit convenes the world's most influential leaders, thinkers and practitioners to advance innovation toward action and scale.
Karen Manson, Senior Director of Global Citizenship and Sustainability at Janssen, discusses the insights and answers given by the experts in this article.