Vision 2020: Area Leaders Discuss Healthcare for the New Decade
By Joseph Bednar, Healthcare News
Few industries change as rapidly — and as dramatically — as the broad, multifaceted realm of healthcare. From oncologists’ use of cancer fingerprinting and gene therapy to facial transplants for accident victims; from cutting-edge protocols to save the lives of stroke and heart-surgery patients to a dizzying array of new treatments to improve vision … the list is seemingly endless, making it impossible to paint a full picture of where healthcare has come in the past decade.
But we at HCN wanted to try anyway — and, at the same time, look ahead at what the next decade might bring. So, appropriately, here at the dawn of 2020, we invited 20 healthcare professionals from 20 different specialties to tell us what has been the most notable evolution in their field of practice in the past 10 years, and what they expect — or hope — will be the most significant development to come in the next decade.
The answers were candid, thoughtful, sometimes surprising, but mostly hopeful. Despite the many challenges healthcare faces in these times of advancing technology, growing cost concerns, and demographic shifts, the main thread is still innovation — smart people working on solutions that help more people access better care. After all, healthcare is, at its core, about improving people’s lives, even when they seek it out during their direst moments.
Innovation and promise. That’s what we believe a new decade will bring to all corners of the healthcare world — that is, if these 20 leaders, and countless others like them, have anything to say about it.
Here’s our own Dr. Susan Bankoski Chunyk. Click here to hear from the other 19 healthcare professionals.
These features are ‘the icing on the cake,’ but the real ‘cake’ is preservation of the speech signal, even in challenging listening situations. Since the primary complaint of people with hearing loss is understanding in noise, new hearing-aid technology works toward improving speech understanding while reducing listening effort in all environments. This significantly improves the individual’s quality of life.
The negative effects of untreated hearing loss on quality of life are well-documented. Recent research has also confirmed a connection between many chronic health conditions — including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, balance disorders, depression, and early-onset dementia — and hearing loss. This research shows that hearing loss is not just an inevitable consequence of aging, but a health concern that should be treated as early as possible. My hope for the future is that all healthcare providers will recognize the value of optimal hearing in their patients’ overall health and well-being and, just as they monitor and treat other chronic health conditions, they will recommend early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss.