Can America’s Youth be a Focal Point for Bending Healthcare’s Cost Curve?


Analyzing healthcare data and trends is commonplace. From financial and reimbursement metrics to population data and engagement, our team is continually seeking ways to bring clarity to decision makers in emerging companies, global organizations and financial sponsors.

Last year we embarked on an effort to look at how one demographic population – Seniors – would be served by a range of innovative technologies and programs to support their health and wellbeing.  To support our assessment, we published two research reports that focused on this important area of healthcare.  While seniors is still top of mind, we’re now looking at kids and healthcare…and are finding some interesting data points.

There are 70M kids in the U.S.
  • 12M are considered obese (the growing trend line here is troubling)
  • 125K under age 19 have diabetes

It gets more interesting:
Kids are on screens 8 hours each day (laptops, tablets, phones, game consoles)
  • 22M watch YouTube monthly
  • 87% have a video game console in their home, and they average 73 minutes each day playing video games
  • 66% have mobile phones

As is often covered on these pages, healthcare costs are going up and many traditional approaches aren’t impacting or bending the cost curve.  Does the notion of focusing on a demographic (kids) with positive health-oriented messages where they’re already spending time (screens) make sense?

One emerging media company is trying this very approach. The Whistle is melding health and nutrition, interactive tools, goal setting, math and science and sportsmanship into an online platform for kids age 6-14.



55M kids in the U.S. play organized sports – a population that needs a unique form of healthcare engagement.  While it’s early, sports celebrities like Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter and Mia Hamm are involved with The Whistle if their current traction with pro sports leagues are proof, this could be a unique example of where innovation meeting need at a critical point in healthcare’s transformation.

Let us know what you think.

Chris Hoffmann
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