2030 Injury Scenarios

Quantitative injury rate forecasts have been somewhat scarce (short of Pardee’s long-range fatality forecasts to 2100). During the search, I came across the previously mentioned Institute for Alternative Futures’ Public Health Scenarios 2030. Here’s expected scenario from their “Injury Prevention Driver Forecasts”:

  • Technological innovations in design and monitoring – and decreased public tolerance – reduce unintentional injury rates for certain types of injuries
  • Rates of violence continue to be closely tied to poverty, race, education, and geography
  • Some innovative programs prove successful locally but are leadership-dependent and unsustainable
  • Injury-related fatalities decrease but injury-related costs – including long-term care and benefits – rise due to inadequate focus on primary prevention
  • Political and cultural opposition to a population-based approach hinders the most effective local policies from being embraced on a nationwide level

Src: “Injury Prevention Driver Forecasts.” 2014. Institute for Alternative Futures.

Public Health Scenarios 2030

I’ve been looking for illness-related forecasts and historic statistics for the last couple days. After looking through so much quantitative data (my roundup is here), it’s interesting to finish out the research with a look at some scenarios.

The Institute for Alternative Futures (co-founded by Alvin Toffler in 1977), has a series called Public Health 2030. The “Chronic Disease Driver Forecasts” is of particular interest.


Forecast Summaries

Expectable: Chronic disease epidemic continues its upward trajectory
• Tobacco use and cancer incidence rates drop
• Aging yields higher rates of dementia and prostate and breast cancer
• Highest-risk populations cannot access new treatments for chronic disease
• Behavioral health programs show varied success/failure rates
• Primary prevention efforts are met by various obstacles, including legal and public relations battles
• About 48 percent (171 million) of U.S. residents live with one or more chronic conditions, i.e., 2% or
30 million people more since 2010
• National health spending accounts for 22 percent of GDP (compared to 18 percent in 2010)

Challenging: Chronic disease epidemic escalates
• Improved access to care leads to substantial increase in diagnosed chronic diseases. Widespread
provider shortages and inconsistent quality of self-management support fail to effectively control
and prevent chronic disease
• A major economic downturn worsens psychological and behavioral health; smoking, obesity, heart
disease, cancers, and diabetes become more prevalent among both youth and elders
• Health disparities increase and low-income and minority groups are blamed for their health
problems and scapegoated for overburdening the health care system
• Some communities experience successes in improving behavioral and community health, but most
struggle to replicate this success
• Over half the U.S. population lives with one or more chronic conditions, and all states have obesity
rates above 50 percent
• Cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reduce health spending to 17 percent of GDP as many in the U.S.
forego care

Aspirational: Widespread conquering and prevention of chronic disease
• Communities address social determinants of health, prevention, and behavioral health; Community
Centered Health Homes are prominent
• Accountable Care Communities (ACCs) expand on the idea of the Accountable Care Organization
(ACO) to coordinate across a range of sectors, including employment, housing, transportation, and
• “My code is your code”: apps are tailored and reworked to engage the public in promoting personal
and community wellbeing among neighbors and localities; widespread use of personalized health
informatics, games, and digital agents to assess and change behavior
• People and groups increasingly advocate for healthier community environments
• Less than 40 percent of the U.S. population is living with one or more chronic conditions

Src: “Chronic Disease Driver Forecasts.” 2014. Institute for Alternative Futures. 

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