Global e-Healthcare Industry
The world healthcare market is witnessing an increasing shift towards e-health services, which negates the need for patients to physically visit their healthcare representatives. This reduces the strain on an already overstretched healthcare system while increasing convenience for patients.
Telemedicine is set to become a major part of the healthcare system, notes Koncept Analytics. Telemedicine involves the use of multimedia devices and telecommunications technology in the provision of healthcare services. The advantages of telemedicine include its geographic scope, reaching even remote rural locations; its reduced costs; and its help in easing the problem of healthcare staff shortages.
E-healthcare enlists electronic processes and communications to provide quality healthcare services to patients, covering all locations. Medical devices that have integrated connectivity are especially useful for remote sleep therapy treatment, cardiac rhythm management and cardiac event monitoring.
Wireless connectivity and mobile technology are boosting demand for personal health applications and services, notes Parks Associates. Market growth is fuelled by commitment from technology providers, insurers and caregivers alike. Moving forward it will be necessary for health bodies to set in place specific policies and encourage overall transparency.
Key Market Segments
The world e-pharmacy market is expected to reach almost $52 billion by 2017, reports Global Industry Analysts. Market growth is fuelled by internet penetration and rising demand for prescription drugs. In order for the market to reach its full potential, e-pharmacies will need to continue adhering to ethical business practices and regulatory standards set in place for the safe delivery of prescription medicines to consumers. The advantages of e-pharmacies for patients include ease of ordering and the fact that they do not need to be physically present in the pharmacy to receive their medication.
Telemedicine, or interactive healthcare provided through telecommunications and technology, is expected to record close to 20% yearly growth between 2010 and 2015, reports RNCOS.
Over 2 million patients were opting for medical home monitoring at the close of 2011, according to Berg Insight. The market for mobile health (m-health) through enabled home monitoring solutions is expected to record yearly growth of 18% for the six-year period ending 2016, when it should reach almost 5 million connections worldwide. The number of devices with integrated cellular connectivity is forecast to see annual growth of almost 35%, exceeding 2.45 million in 2016.
The telemonitoring market may pass the $1 billion mark by 2015, reports Espicom. It facilitates around-the-clock diagnosis and patient monitoring without patients having to physically visit their health practitioner. This system is particularly suitable for the monitoring of health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and asthma.
Regional Market Share
The US healthcare market dominates the global healthcare industry, reports RNCOS. Healthcare spending in the US is forecast to record yearly growth of 5% between 2010 and 2013. Spending is fuelled by costly hospital care and elevated administrative charges. The market’s m-health segment has been recording wider penetration and is well positioned for future expansion.
E-prescriptions are a leading segment in the US healthcare market, expected to reach almost $205 million by 2017, reports Global Industry Analysts. The EU’s e-prescriptions market segment is expected to exceed $508 million by the same year. Expansion in the e-prescription segment points to rising healthcare automation, and is fuelled by acceleration in technological developments.