Healthcare Technology Featured Article

January 23, 2015

Frost & Sullivan See Asia-Pacific Continuing to Drive Global Healthcare

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP or ESCAP) projected by 2050 the population of this region will rise to 5,080,254,000 from the 4,366,098,000 of mid-year population of 2014. Besides being the most populated region in the world, two of the top five countries that have the largest share of the global extreme poor, China and India, are also located here. This particular group lives on less than $1.25 per day, but the sheer size of the population means there is a wide range of demographics, including the fastest growing middle class in the world. The new middle class wants the same level of comfort as in other countries, and first world healthcare is on top of their list.

A new report released by Frost & Sullivan, has revealed the Asia-Pacific region continues to drive global healthcare investment, innovation and growth. According to the report, the healthcare industry is experiencing a strong momentum that is responsible for this growth in areas of new entities, investments and products, as well as new innovations and opportunities available in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

Many of the cities in the Asia-Pacific regions can now be classified as megalopolis, with populations of as much as 88 million in the Yangtze River Delta Megalopolis. In this and other large cities, governments are shifting their patient loads from hospitals to primary care, and according to Rhenu Bhuller, Senior Vice President, Healthcare, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific, “Officials in South East Asia are driving initiatives to create a more robust primary healthcare sector.”

Bhuller went on to say, “Overcrowded public hospitals, urbanization, disease and lifestyle trends, increasing private health insurance coverage and awareness on the importance of health management will see the private hospital market in Singapore grow at a rate of 13 percent between 2015 to 2020.” The private primary healthcare services market in Singapore alone is expected to surpass $3 billion by 2020, which should bring new opportunities across the healthcare value chain in the country.

The report also highlighted several trends that will impact the healthcare industry in the coming year, including:

Regulatory Harmonization – medical devices and consumables within the ASEAN region will potentially see more manufacturing investments, which will result in increased flow of products and services.

Stronger Regulatory Crackdown – there will be more focus on policies and practices linked to protecting the consumer in the hopes of prescribed therapies influenced by the interests of the consumer and not questionable marketing practices.

Micro-Segmentation Strategies – with so many different demographics in these densely populated cities, healthcare needs and affordability will lead to tiered services delivering solutions with different price points.

Pharmacies Undergo Transformations – pharmacies will start delivering more services, and according to Frost & Sullivan, they will be a channel for diagnostics, compliance and treatment.

Telecoms Launch Home Health Platforms – while the impact of telemedicine hasn’t been fully felt in most of the Asia-Pacific region, many developed countries are reaping the benefits. The reports sees this region taking advantage of the merger of healthcare and technology for preventative healthcare, maintaining chronic conditions and keeping costs down.

A Blockbuster Year for Mergers and Acquisitions – Frost & Sullivan predicts 2015 will surpass 2014 in transaction value, and in particular the Asia-focused mergers and acquisitions could eventually create big regional and global brands.

The sheer number of people in the Asia-Pacific region does present many challenges, including one of the largest elderly populations, which will require more medical costs from these countries. A silver lining to this problem is the integration of information and communications technologies and healthcare. As more solutions enter the market place, the delivery of healthcare through mobile, wearables, sensor technology and monitoring devices through the cloud will alleviate the lack of resources currently existing in the healthcare industry, not only in Asia-Pacific, but also globally. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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