As Inflation Continues to Put Pressure on Economy, a Recession Is Likely

By Staff
Friday, January 27, 2023 2:05 PM Economic weakness is expected to usher in a recession in early 2023, according to a new report from The Conference Board. As ongoing inflation continues to put pressure on the economy, gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to slow to 0.2 percent in 2023, followed by a rebound to 1.7 percent in 2024.

With revised figures for 2022 and 2023, the Conference Board still believes that a recession is on the horizon sooner rather than later. It predicts the next three quarters to have negative GDP growth starting in Q1 of 2023. The report notes that the downtown is expected to be brief, with a rebound slated for 2024 as inflation falls and the Federal Reserve loosens monetary policy. 

The Conference Board also predicts that easing supply chain constraints will also begin to cool inflation, but that rising interest rates may continue to push the U.S. economy into recession. This will result in a tight labor market and higher unemployment rates. The Conference Board expects jobless rates to peak at 4.5 percent, a historic low.

Is Virtual Care Delivering Improved Patient Access?

By Staff
Thursday, January 26, 2023 2:28 PM While telehealth adoption remains higher than pre-COVID pandemic levels, that adoption hasn’t necessarily been uniform across clinical conditions, age groups, geographic locations, and types of insurance, according to a review by McKinsey and Company. And health care organizations can pursue additional opportunities to close the disparities gap.

The review estimated that more than 50 million in-person visits per year could be converted to virtual or telemedicine visits if adoption were extended equally across patient segments. In general, patient segments with limited access to in-person care had relatively fewer virtual visits.

While there is the belief that virtual care can improve access for the underserved, the current imbalance in usage suggests that U.S. health care stakeholders could consider designing virtual-care models that address structural barriers so that virtual care is more widely accessible, according to McKinsey and Company.

The review also found that virtual-care adoption in the U.S. is highest for behavioral health specialties and lowest for procedural specialties, such as urology and gastroenterology. In addition, the review indicated that virtual-care adoption is four percentage points higher in urban areas when compared with rural areas.

Socioeconomic factors also play a key role in the adoption of virtual care, according to the review. Virtual-health care adoption varies by type of insurance and is six percentage points higher with payers other than Medicare.

Read the review article here.

Tobacco Use in the U.S. Is Falling: Use of E-Cigarettes Is on the Rise

By Staff
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 12:08 PM Tobacco use is on the decline in America, thanks to concentrated efforts to highlight the dangers of smoking. A report from the American Lung Association found that cigarette usage among youth and adults has dropped significantly, falling to 13.7 percent among adults and 8.8 percent among youth. There are presently more than 34 million cigarette smokers in the U.S., however, this number is down from 40 million in 1997. 

The method of smoking is changing among Americans as users look for new ways to get their nicotine fix. Though more Americans have begun using electronic cigarettes in the last decade, the number of users has declined. 

In 2019, nearly 21 million children took up the e-cigarette habit, with 69 percent of young users preferring flavored e-cigarettes. The JUUL e-cigarette was the overwhelming favorite among young people at 54 percent, followed by the refillable tank system at 24 percent.

Frozen Pizza Sales Skyrocket Among Millennials

By Staff
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 12:40 PM People are choosing convenience over fresh, according to a new study from Grand View Research, especially when it comes to pizza. Figures indicate that the frozen pizza market has reached a value of nearly $20 billion worldwide. This figure is expected to grow by 3.2 percent between 2020 and 2027. 

The convenience and high shelf life has made frozen pizza more appealing to the working class, leading researchers to predict near record forecasted growth over the next decade. 

Millennials, with a taste for variety, are also reaching for a frozen pizza in record numbers due to the wide range of flavors and topping options paired with an uncomplicated cooking procedure. 

Sales figures show that regular frozen pizza held the largest product segment at 40 percent, with medium frozen pizza expected to be the fastest-growing product segment at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5 percent from 2020 to 2027.

Housing Prices are in Decline After 21-Month Growth Streak

By Staff
Monday, January 23, 2023 11:43 AM Housing prices are expected to dip, according to a new report from CoreLogic Home Price Insights. The Home Price Index considers the impact of economic and global forces that may have a bearing on the real estate market. 

As of November 2022, the average home price had increased year over year by 8.6 percent. This figure, however, reflects a month-over-month decline of 0.2 percent in November 2022 as compared to October 2022. 

Increases were found in states like Florida which saw home prices rise by 18 percent, South Carolina with a rise of 13.9 percent and Georgia at 13.6 percent. 

Areas like Urban Honolulu, Salem, Oregon and Bellingham, Washington are all expected to see a decline in growth of between 50 percent and 75 percent. 

Global Tree Planting Falls Short When it Comes to Combating Climate Change

By Staff
Friday, January 20, 2023 1:50 PM It’s never been more important to plant trees. In 2021, more than 1.8 billion trees were planted worldwide. A new report from GoTreeQuotes finds that this still isn’t enough to keep up with the number of trees being cut down each year. 

It’s believed more than 15 billion trees are cut down each year. Climate ecologists say that at least 1.2 trillion trees need to be planted each year to keep pace with what is being cut down and ensure there are enough trees to counteract climate change into the future. 

Data from GoTreeQuotes notes that there are just over 3 trillion trees in the world. This works out to approximately 422 trees per person. Prior to humans, however, there are believed to have been 6 trillion trees on earth. This indicates a decline of more than 50 percent since humans arrived. 

The United Nations Environmental Program plants nearly 2 billion trees each year, however, the world has space for up to 600 billion mature trees. Deforestation and wildfires are the main reason for declining tree numbers around the world.

Home-Based Health Care Programs to Expand in 2023

By Staff
Thursday, January 19, 2023 2:22 PM Most health systems and hospitals offer some type of care at home, but these programs need robust technology and support, in addition to financial reimbursement, to deliver care at scale, according to a report from Current Health analyzing the trends, challenges and opportunities for driving adoption of care-at-home programs. 

According to the survey results from leaders at hospitals and health systems, the majority of health care organizations have begun moving care outside bricks-and-mortar facilities, offering digitally enabled care-at-home programs across the acuity spectrum. These programs can improve patient experiences and outcomes, with survey respondents indicating the primary benefits of care-at-home programs include decreased readmissions (69 percent), decreased hospitalizations (60 percent) and decreased emergency room visits (59 percent). 

While many hospitals and health systems have reported significant value from care-at-home models, others face operational and financial hurdles when it comes to implementing and expanding these types of programs.

As health care organizations face continued staffing shortages, high costs of care, and reduced revenue, care-at-home programs present an opportunity for health systems to deliver cost-effective, quality care at scale, while meeting patients where they are and offering exhausted clinicians a new way to practice. To learn more about this evolving market as well as the opportunities and challenges facing care-at-home programs, Current Health surveyed more than 100 primarily C-suite hospital and health system leaders during September 2022.

Key findings from the report include:

● The clinical benefits are clear, but staffing is a top concern for organizations looking to implement a care-at-home program.

● Technology is essential to care-at-home programs—but it must be embraced for programs to be successful.

● To ensure care-at-home programs solve for, rather than exacerbate ongoing challenges like staffing issues, health systems must identify solutions that fit seamlessly into clinician workflows and provide sufficient support.

Read the report here.

Experts Say Print Will Continue to Prosper But at a Slower Pace

By Staff
Wednesday, January 18, 2023 3:19 PM Digital media continues to put a strain on book sales in the U.S. A report from Statista found that book sales are slowing as more Americans turn to e-readers and the web for their written information. Unit sales have reached 700 million per year according to the latest figures. Americans still prefer print books over electronics by a rate of 65 percent. 

The definition of bookstores is also changing, with many now offering a wider range of products. Companies like Amazon are putting the pressure on as consumers find alternative and cheaper methods of buying their favorite author. Many book giants like Barnes and Noble had to close stores during the pandemic, pushing consumers to other online book retailers to find titles. 

It’s believed that the book market will continue to grow into the next decade. More than $3.5 billion was spent on hard back, paperback and mass market books in 2021. Experts believe that print will continue to prosper, however it will be at a slower pace than in previous years.

U.S. Wages Are Unable to Keep Pace With Inflation

By Staff
Tuesday, January 17, 2023 2:26 PM Unless you have investments paying dividends or capital gains, many Americans are unable to source enough income to live comfortably. This is according to a report from Statista, which highlights the growing disparity between wage levels among American residents. 

According to the report, the highest earning professionals in the U.S. in 2020 were anesthesiologists at a median annual pay of $271,441. For those whose wages are impacted by inflation or recession, experts believe, creates consumption power, where the wealthy outpace the poor. 

The report highlights the concern about a growing inequality between genders and ethnic groups in relation to full time wages and salary. In 2021, the highest earning cohort was Asian men who on average earned $1,453 U.S. dollars per week, while Asian women earned $1,141 U.S. dollars per week. This is in contrast to the average Hispanic woman who earned $718 per week.

U.S. Blindness Rates Are Expected to Double by 2050, CDC Says

By Staff
Friday, January 13, 2023 12:36 PM The number of Americans with blindness is expected to rise over the next 30 years. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recently released new figures highlighting the burden of vision loss in the U.S. The number of people with blindness is expected to double from 1.02 million in 2015 to 2.1 million by 2050. 

Chronic disease will also be a factor in rising vision problems among U.S. adults. Rates of glaucoma are expected to top more than 5.5 million, and the number of people with macular degeneration is projected to reach more than 4.4 million.

The economic cost of vision loss is expected to reach $373 billion by 2050. The CDC is calling on health professionals to work with patients to ensure they are getting their vision tested, noting that early detection and timely treatment of conditions like diabetic retinopathy can significantly prevent vision loss. CDC stats show that 90 percent of blindness caused by diabetes is preventable with proper eyecare.

Consumers Are Using Social Media to Discover and Purchase Products

By Staff
Thursday, January 12, 2023 10:38 AM One in three consumers use social media to learn about or discover new products, services or brands, according to a new research report from Sprout Social. Additionally, one in four also use social media to purchase products. The Harris Poll, on behalf of Sprout Social, surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers and 250 business executives to better understand how they use social media and its impact on an organization.
 
According to the report, 78 percent of consumers are more willing to buy from a brand and 77 percent will choose a brand over a competitor after a positive experience with a brand on social media.
 
Additionally, the report found that 91 percent of executives anticipate their company’s social media marketing budget will increase over the next three years, and the majority expect it will increase by more than 50 percent.
 
To view the report, click here.

New Numbers Show Fewer Undiagnosed Cases of Diabetes

By Staff
Wednesday, January 11, 2023 1:39 PM The number of undiagnosed cases of diabetes in the U.S. may be lower than government estimates. A study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that overall cases of undiagnosed diabetes were significantly less than reported. 

It’s believed this improvement in cases is due to better detection of type 2 diabetes in the U.S., however, disparities remain in certain population subgroups. Researchers found that 9.5 percent of diabetes cases were undiagnosed, far below initial government figures of 20 percent to 30 percent. 

The highest rate of undiagnosed cases remains among Mexican Americans, at a rate of 3.3 percent, three times the national average. This is four times the non-Hispanic white American rate of 0.86 percent and 2.59 percent among Asian Americans. 

In contrast, the high rate of diabetes in the US, may be due to improved testing and diagnosis among the U.S. population.

Eyewear Market Is Expected to Soar in Next Decade

By Staff
Tuesday, January 10, 2023 11:26 AM The number of people requiring glasses is on the rise, leading to a surge in the eyewear market. A new study published by Research and Markets shows the eyewear industry is expected to grow from $90.75 billion in 2121 to nearly $99 billion in 2022. This reflects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 9 percent. 

Long-term growth for the industry is expected to reach record values of $156 billion by 2026, holding steady at a CAGR of 8.9 percent. This figure is expected to double by 2030 reaching $323 billion as sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and sunglasses skyrocket. 

The largest market region remains North America, with Asia Pacific close behind. According to figures from Statista, the U.S. eyewear industry was more than double the size of China in 2021, with Luxottica receiving the largest share of eyewear sales. Brands like Ray-Ban, Persol and Oakley are among the most popular with U.S. consumers. Vision Source, Walmart, National Vision Holdings and Eyecare Partners round out the top five retailers in the U.S., according to Statista. 

Smart glasses sales are also expected to rise as users see these technologies as less of a novelty. Bluetooth connectivity, open ear speakers and fitness trackers will be the main drivers for smart glasses sales as consumers look for functionality and modular design in their eyewear purchases.

Women Will Define U.S. Households in the Future

By Staff
Monday, January 9, 2023 10:31 AM U.S. households are on the decline, according to a new report from Finances Online. The report shows that the number of U.S. households has dropped percentage wise to just over 2.63 percent. These figures reflect the number of people living in a household, a rate that has been steadily on the decline since 2010. As of 2020, there were 128.45 million households in the U.S. This number was expected to climb to 132 million by 2021, a growth rate well below what experts would like to see. 

To put into perspective, the average household was 5.7 people in 1790, when the birth rate was much higher. Despite the distance in time, experts believe these figures are “far removed” from where they should be. 

Researchers believe the shape of the U.S. household will be dramatically affected by the participation of women in the workforce. It’s believed 2020 was the beginning of negative population growth. U.S. fertility rates currently sit at 1.77 births per woman. 

Women will continue to enter the workforce in roles that require a higher level of complex and cognitive work, while roles traditionally filled by men will become more automated.

3D Glasses Industry Is Slated to Reach $22 Billion by 2033

By Staff
Friday, January 6, 2023 12:57 PM The 3D glasses market is on the rise in the U.S., according to a new Future Market Insights (FMI) report. The industry is expected to reach an estimated value of $14.81 billion in 2023, climbing to $22 billion by 2033. This is a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.16 percent over 10 years. 

The technology is gaining ground in a number of industries including the military, health care, education and entertainment. It has most recently been used to treat a variety of medical conditions being utilized in robotic surgery, phobia treatment and surgery simulation. 

As consumers crave more distinct technology, FMI believes the growth of this sector will increase further between 2028 and 2033 with the 3D technology becoming more integrated in daily life. 

Around the world, 3D technology is also reaching a broader market. Germany remains at the forefront of adopting 3D glasses at a rate of 3.7 percent CAGR, while China is expected to grow at a rate of 3.6 percent CAGR.