Latent Natural Resources for Health | Geriatrics | JAMA Forum Archive | JAMA Network
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JAMA Forum Archive, 2012-2019: Health policy commentary from leaders in the field
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Latent Natural Resources for Health

Latent natural resources are those that exist in our world today, waiting to be tapped. Think of wind before windmills. Or in a more modern example, private apartments before Airbnb. What else is out there right now, awaiting our development, specifically to advance health?

This question becomes more consequential when we consider major forthcoming health challenges—such as the care and cost burdens associated with the aging of the US population. In just 4 years, the first baby boomers turn 75; there is little dispute that their care needs and associated costs will place extraordinary pressure on the nation’s health care delivery system and the federal budget. Indeed, by 2030, there will be more than 34 million individuals aged 75 years or older, a 78% increase from the more than 19 million individuals in 2012.

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