In the last ten years, jobs created in the healthcare sector have exceeded those created in the rest of the economy by a factor of ten, equaling 2.6 million new jobs.
Healthcare spending as everyone knows is eating up an ever-increasing proportion of the economy. Healthcare spending in the U.S. is currently at 17.6% of GDP compared to an average of 9.5% for the rest of the 34 OECD nations, what many people refer to as “first world” countries.
The amazing job growth is sort of a good news/bad news scenario. Clearly, we would still be in the depths of the recession without those jobs. Part of the job growth is caused by out of control spending and price increases (largely not by medical devices, which are a paltry 6% of the sector) – the bad news. Part is lots of hiring to go along with all of the spending, which I guess is the good news.
As the article points out, the jobs that are projected to grow the fastest in the next ten years are personal care aides and home health aides, courtesy of aging baby boomers and their parents.
And yes, these jobs are as recession-proof as you can imagine. They cannot be outsourced and there seems to be a virtually limitless demand from the market.
My question is, how far to the right and up can the blue line extend?
It must be incredible fun to be a biomedical engineer these days. I would be like a kid in a candy store with all of the incredible tools and components that one can use to make just about anything.
“Scanadu is making fast progress in building one of the most mythical pieces of tech known to geekery. As an entrant in the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the health-tracking device is designed to read your temperature, blood pressure, respiration, and other vital signs, just by holding it to your temple. Last week, the Scanadu Scout finally launched on Indiegogo, and already has raised nearly $700,000–seven times its stated goal, with two weeks left to go. [update – now at $1.3 million! TES]
The XPRIZE originally used the omni-informative tool as inspiration for a $10 million prize founded to make health analysis available to consumers at home. “Somebody will have to build the Tricorder one day,” says Walter De Brouwer, Scanadu’s co-founder.”
“We are in the biggest tsunami of personalization in the world but for medicine we are still waiting in line in an emergency room.” De Brouwer
Scanadu seems to have adopted the iRobot strategy that produced the Roomba and a number of line extensions including products for military and aerospace use: Use science fiction for ideas and adapt current technology to make something useful. Not a bad plan.