The Ruhr metropolitan area is the largest health region in the country as well as a prominent centre of research and development. The lead market of healthcare now employs more than 270,000 people in the Ruhr area, accounting for a 17.1% share of the overall economy (2014). New medicines, medical engineering and health services are in demand. Although people are living longer, many find they can no longer depend on their families to care for them in old age as cohabitation patterns have changed. Moreover, as we become more aware of the way we live, healthcare is becoming an ever greater priority. All of these factors are shaping the development of the sector across the region.