Innovative technologies in telemedicine, wearable health-tech devices and mHealth are transforming population health. Sometimes referred to as digital healthcare or digitally enabled care, these and similar technologies are enabling healthcare providers to monitor a patient’s health condition, and collect and analyze in real time vast amounts of data, making health monitoring, diagnostics and treatment more personalized, timely and convenient, while also lowering costs.
According to a report from BCC Research, the global telemedicine market (Tele-Consultation, Tele-Monitoring, Tele-Education, Tele-Training, Tele-Care, and Tele-Surgery) grew from $9.8 billion in 2010 to $11.6 billion in 2011 and will almost triple to $27.3 billion in 2016.
In China, the telemedicine market is expected to experience significant growth due to the increase in the number of patients suffering from chronic diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic heart failure (CHF), asthma, hypertension, and diabetes. Telemedicine technologies offer the possibility that China could create an easily accessed point of diagnosis, care and follow-up that takes place outside the hospitals walls. An increase in IT spending is identified as a key factor in boosting the demand for telemedicine in this region.
Wearable health-tech devices
Wearables is another sector that is poised to expand. The wearable health-tech device market includes smart watches, smart wristbands, pedometers, and bionic suits. A report by Soreon Research indicates that the global size of smart wearable devices is USD 2 billion. By the year 2020 this sector is predicted to reach USD 41 billion. Important features of these devices include heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, blood oxygen, respiratory rate, glucose level and body temperature.
According to iMediaResearch, the size of the wearable health-tech device market in China was 420 million in 2012, and it is estimated to reach 1.2 billion in 2015 and 4.7 billion in 2017.
China’s Mobile Health market is expected to reach $3.7 Billion USD by the End of 2018, according to a recent report by Huidian Research, a leading industry consulting & market survey firm in China. Mobile phones and mobile enabled devices improve the patient experience by providing a way to deliver medical reminders and diagnostic information to patients and physicians. It also gives patients the tools to monitor their health and communicate those results to physicians.
China possesses nearly 1.2 Billion mobile devices, nearly three and a half times the number of mobile devices in the United States. Remote monitoring devices represent one of the fastest growing parts of the mHealth sector in China. According to a report jointly author by GSMA and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Chinese medical monitoring services market will reach $1.2 billion by 2017, with over 90 percent of the revenues coming from chronic disease management solutions.
There are many opportunities for mHealth applications in China and the Asia-Pacific region. In the past, much of the focus on health was on treatment. The trend with mHealth is toward prevention and wellness, which can bring soaring health costs down. Mobile Health applications can also improve access and affordability of health care by lowering disparities based on geography and income. Mobile Health will be especially important with the growth of medical tourism, allowing patients to access care or follow-up care remotely, regardless of their location. Through video conferencing and texting, those who reside far from clinical providers can gain access to health care and receive early stage diagnosis and treatment that can help prevent more expensive illnesses.
Opportunities for international companies seeking to enter the Digital healthcare market in China.
-China’s aging of population: currently over 200 million, and estimated to reach over 250 million in 2020.
-Chronic diseases -Over 17 million premature deaths, 85% of which are related to chronic diseases, and huge cost of treatment for coronary heart disease and diabetes.
-Over 300 million overweight and obese
-The most comprehensive nationwide survey for diabetes ever conducted in China shows 11.6 percent of adults, or 114 million, has the disease.
There is a growing consensus among the healthcare community that digitally enabled care is no longer “nice to have,” but instead, is fundamental for delivering high quality care.
Why attend WMTC Asia-Pacific 2015?
- Gain an in-depth understanding of medical tourism and how digital health can complement or enhance patient mobility
- Learn about innovative medical technologies that will transform the way healthcare is delivered in the home
- Gain an understanding of key strategic considerations for implementing digital health in Asia-Pacific regions
- Get an in-depth look at the policy and legal challenges affecting digital health growth in China
- Discuss the opportunities and challenges from digital health in different clinical and non-clinical settings