Scientists worldwide are conducting experiments focused on anti-aging to combat the many healthcare costs traditionally associated with senescence: the process of getting older. As a result, the global anti-aging market is projected to be worth 14.22 billion USD by 2027.
Anti-aging and economy context
Today, numerous executives of leading software and technology businesses are investing large sums of money into anti-aging research. In a similar vein, numerous universities across the world are running clinical trials to identify potential treatments to prevent aging or reduce the effects.
Anti-aging research focuses on lessening the risk of acquiring diseases by preventing the aging of human cells. For example, one study in the works is using metformin to protect against age-related diseases. Metformin, a medicine used to treat Diabetes II, is considered a significant medical intervention that increases both healthspan and lifespan.
In 2020, an international organization released data showing that an estimated 727 million individuals are 65 years of age or older worldwide. As this population ages, the desire (for a significant percentage of this population) to feel young again is likely to intensify.
In the United States, a person turning 65 will spend about $142,000 to $176,000 on long-term care during their lifetime. But, with advances in anti-aging technology, citizens could potentially stay healthy longer as they age and continue with their lives more independently. Potentially, this could push the retirement age back, as older adults become more capable and continue to work longer.
This innovation can have a significant economic payoff, as businesses will develop more technological innovations to cater to the needs of people as they grow older. And for countries projected to suffer from an aging workforce, anti-aging therapies could keep their workforce productive for additional decades.
However, interventions, such as anti-aging, do not come without a cost; they can exacerbate pre-existing inequalities as it provides the rich with the opportunity to live and grow their wealth for additional decades, expanding the gap between the rich and the poor.
Questions to comment on
- Could prolonging lifespans help domestic economies or would such therapies just lessen the job opportunities for the younger generation?
- How can this scientific development affect the growing divide between the rich and the poor?