The 2018 Dementia Innovation Readiness Index analyses the readiness of countries to develop and deploy dementia solutions into their healthcare, policy and social frameworks.
The Index evaluates innovation readiness across 10 categories and identifies specific opportunities and challenges to promote innovation. Among the countries profiled in 2018, the 65+ population is highest in Argentina at 11.6% and lowest in Saudi Arabia at 3.3%. In comparison, 17.9% of the G7 countries’ population is over 65. And yet, developing countries will be home to nearly 70% of people with dementia by 2050 as the result of population aging.
Some key findings include:
- Under-diagnosis is a barrier to fully understanding and treating dementia. Better diagnostic tools and healthcare professionals specializing in geriatrics and dementia will be critical for ensuring countries can adequately address the individual and societal burden brought by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In Brazil, for instance, community health workers are trained to identify signs of dementia and refer patients to specialists
- The regulatory environment has been slow to evolve with the urgency of the disease. Well-funded and efficient regulatory agencies must be prioritized to ensure therapies can reach people with dementia in a timely manner
- The business community is not integrated into strategies to provide solutions for dementia and should be encouraged and incentivized to bring innovations in medicines and new care models, including maximizing the potential of technology and data
- As seen in India, prevention campaigns can serve as an effective and cost-efficient strategy to raise awareness and help the general public and healthcare providers better prepare for the projected increases in dementia
- Planning now will ensure these countries with younger populations are prepared for the coming demographic shift. For instance, Saudi Arabia, with currently only 3.3% of its population over 65, has a unique opportunity to innovate now so that in 20 years, solutions that lessen or eliminate the burden of dementia will already be in place