The global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted all sectors and healthcare is not an exception. Frost & Sullivan’s report forecasts that the industry will experience a ruthless year replete with major transformations. Industry growth is expected to be stunted from 5.3% to 0.6% in 2020 and revenue is estimated to be capped below $2 trillion.
Since Covid-19 is a health crisis, many consumers have put elective procedures on hold or delayed them, creating a dent on revenue. Medical technologies and imaging are likely to be badly hit in some scenarios. However, digital health and telemedicine is expected to grow at 7.9% this year, according to Unmesh Lal, Transformational Health Industry Principal.
Lal further opined that the pandemic has prompted governments to increase budgets for healthcare services and check the feasibility of mass vaccinations and immunity passports. Soon, healthcare IT companies like Intel, Optum, Microsoft, AWS would be investing in high grade AI platforms for predicting pandemics, forecasting patient volumes, authenticate reimbursements and offer general well-being via self-care enablement.
The global healthcare industry is expected to change in the following five ways, in the aftermath of the pandemic:
Telehealth will become mainstream
The UAE, KSA and Indian telehealth markets grew more than 200% during the pandemic. The tipping point for these markets is very close, as soon virtual doctor consults will become mainstream and widely accepted by consumers. However, training physicians, reimbursements and platform scalability will be decisive in recalibrating telehealth.
Informatics and AI solutions will experience 100% growth in 2020
Third and fourth quarter of 2020 will witness a surge in elective procedures creating a positive impact on teleradiology and AI. Due to the increased workload, AI solutions will be used for workflow automation and operational analytics so that radiologists can prioritize most critical cases. Scaling up capacity, redistribution of workload and flexible payment options are expected to accelerate partnerships as well.
Non-hospital and home critical care models will be redefined
There is a regional disparity in availability of ventilators. While US is expected to have more than 100,000 ventilators, Western Europe will be able to purchase about 30,000 to 50,000 ventilators by the end of this year. This uneven access to ventilators will redefine home critical and non-hospital care models and embedded analytics systems will revive monitoring devices segment post-Covid. Remote monitoring solution for ventilators have already been launched in US and Europe through cloud-based platforms for better homecare.
Alternate testing sites will become permanent
The demand for in vitro diagnostics (IVD) testing has surged phenomenally and the traditional facilities are unable to meet the demand. By the end of this year, the $5 billion PoCT infectious diseases market will change the traditional service models and alternate testing sites like pharmacies, etc. will gradually become permanent service providers in the diagnostic ecosystems. Companies like Walgreens and CVS has already started building new infrastructure to provide IVD testing facility at their present locations.
Fully virtual trials will become a reality
By the year end, 33% clinical trials worldwide would be disrupted, putting new product revenues to the tune of $3 billion at risk. Disruption in clinical trials and resultant delay in drug launches will give rise to fully virtual trials. Hybridization of patient recruitment, monitoring and retention will also become a commonality.
These predictions have been made by Frost & Sullivan in light of the changing economic and business scenarios post Covid. The forecasts will also help in identifying top growth opportunities that have already been adopted by companies for risk mitigation and survival in the present crisis.
Click here to read Frost & Sullivan piece