The problem was daunting: building health care infrastructure in remote areas of the world would take ten to thirty years and cost millions of dollars. Even if built, realistic solutions for a sustainable funding mechanism had not been identified for centuries.
Rather than delay the provision of desperately needed healthcare services, the World Economic Forum posed a question: Are there existing proven innovative healthcare models that can be replicated? In particular, do the solutions provide access to quality care with limited infrastructure and qualified workforces, at a fraction of the common cost?
Locating a model that reduced costs for both patients and healthcare systems while simultaneously providing quality care seemed counterintuitive. However, the answer was a resounding "yes." Against the backdrop of mounting challenges to health systems, the last decade has seen a number of innovative solutions to improve access to quality healthcare, particularly in emerging markets.
The question became not what to invent, but how to replicate existing inventions and scale up these proven models. The Forum recognized that innovative delivery models overcome the global challenge of improving access to quality care at affordable costs.
The innovation solutions focused on addressing common barriers to healthcare access, such as geographic (lack of facilities), financial, informational (education, awareness), and cultural (stigma of certain diseases). The Forum and its partners launched a project entitled "New Models in Health Care Delivery" to further understand the following: * What works in healthcare delivery * Why it works * How it can be scaled
To this end, the Forum assembled a Steering Committee including Aetna, Astra Zeneca, Cisco Systems, Duke University Health System, Merck, and Pfizer, who worked with McKinsey & Company, one of the top global management consulting firms, to research global