Redefining Hong Kong

How will we disrupt aging before aging disrupts economic growth?

Industry convergence and partnerships will be key to averting the health care and economic crisis of aging populations.

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 November, 2017, 5:22pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 November, 2017, 5:24pm

When it comes to disruption, the aging of the global population is set to have as big an impact on governments, organizations and societies as that of digital technology.

As noted in EY’s report How will we disrupt aging before aging disrupts economic growth?, approximately 10% of the global population is now aged 60 or over. And over the course of the next 40 years, that percentage is expected to increase to 25%.

When it comes to the latest digital developments, however, older people remain underserved. There are so many tools and technologies for early development, education and the prime years of our lives. Yet investment is woefully lacking in products and services designed for people’s retirement years.

Once we hit retirement, it’s as if the market is telling us we should be shut away and forgotten. And that just shouldn’t be the case.

Organizations, entrepreneurs and communities should build engaging, customized solutions that seize the upside of aging – solutions that are community-driven and technology-independent, focusing on the whole of us, from birth to death.

These solutions will need to be holistic in nature, which will require the bringing together of insurance companies, physician networks, health care organizations, life sciences companies, governments, and businesses from adjacent industries – such as technology – into a single, cohesive community.

For many health care companies, expanding their ecosystem is already a priority, and they are seeking alliances and acquisitions that can help them to both grow market share and remain relevant in the digital age.

By using science to better understand the aging process, and technology to integrate clinical, behavioral and environmental data in real time, health care organizations can transform their approach. They can begin to move their focus from medicine and health management, toward health approaches that are both preventative and predictive.

In an age of health disruption, every stakeholder brings different resources to the table. The convergence of these partners into a collaborative ecosystem will help to bridge the gap between lifespan and health span, health care and social care, wellness and longevity.

That convergence will also offer enormous opportunities for incumbent life sciences and health care organizations, as well as high-growth entrepreneurs, to work together to power growth in an increasingly complex and competitive environment.

For more on how EY is considering the upsides of our aging world, join the conversation #EngagedAging or visit