IHME’s Future Health Scenarios (FHS) team forecasts the global burden of disease, using GBD estimates of more than 370 diseases and injuries, more than 80 risk factors, sociodemographic indicators and other drivers of health.
These forecasts provide policymakers, donors, researchers and the general public with high-quality forecasts and custom scenarios in order to assess the impact of new policies, interventions or technologies on health. The work is built on a robust framework that links drivers of health to health outcomes and is a significant improvement from past work on forecasting which provided an incomplete view of future disease burden. Understanding drivers of health and potential trajectories going forward is critical to guiding long-term investments and implementing effective policies.
Knowing what might happen years or even decades ahead can provide decision-makers with the information they need to plan for the future. These scenarios may include the impact of improved diets on non-communicable disease burden, the effect of fertility and education trajectories on population size, or the impact of changes in carbon emissions on temperature-attributable health burden, all of which affect health systems and budgets. With these data in hand, health systems and health care workers can be equipped to meet the needs of tomorrow.
The first part of this novel framework was published in 2018 (Foreman et al 2018). In 2020, the framework was used to forecast population size, fertility, mortality, and migration for 195 countries to 2100 (Vollset et al., 2020). A population visualization tool accompanied the publication. Ongoing work extends the 2018 paper to the full suite of health burden measures that will include incidence, prevalence, years lived with disability (YLDs), disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and an improved framework for custom scenarios and avoidable future burden.