As 2015 comes to a close, Frost & Sullivan experts and thought leaders gather together to predict the top 10 trends to expect during the coming year.
1. Next generation wearables hit a $6 billion market
The new generation of “medical” or “clinical wearables” is going to be equipped with more sophisticated sensing, capture and analytical functionalities, thus making the clinical utility of those devices more actionable. Currently, sales of healthcare wearables primarily involve monitoring technologies like those developed by Vital Connect and Proteus Digital Health; moving forward, technologies like the Quell from Neurometrix that provides therapeutic support will continue to gain traction.
Expect healthcare and consumer technology companies alike to be highly active in exploring strategic acquisitions of early stage wearable companies.
Frost & Sullivan’s recent study on consumer behavior to digital health shows approximately 24% of consumers currently use mobile apps to track health and wellness, 16% use wearable sensors and 29% use electronic personal health records. This trend is expected to continue as 47% of consumers would consider using wearables in the near future.
2. Retail care goes mainstream with 35% expansion of in-store clinic footprint
2015 witnessed retailers allocating a great deal of investment toward expanding their clinical footprint, acquiring new tools and forming unique partnerships with healthcare companies. Consequently, 2016 should see the efforts of those machinations as retailers begin to fully execute their strategies for becoming the front line of primary care services.
3. New Development Bank (NDB) invests heavily in healthcare, changing dynamics in many countries
With a total capital of $100 billion, the NDB was formed as an alternative to other world banking organizations dominated by American and European stakeholders. Formerly the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Bank, the NDB is focused on improving the lives of citizens in developing nations. Its key initiatives include significant infrastructure investment in healthcare and wellness services for underserved populations.
4. Rapid Expansion of Private Insurance in India finally unlocks untapped market
Through March 2014, only 17% of Indians were covered by health insurance, resulting in a high (more than 75%) out-of-pocket burden for care. The new government is prioritizing healthcare, through the National Health Assurance Mission, which will provide free drugs and diagnostic services as well as help individuals gain access to low-cost insurance schemes.
5. Population Health opportunity drives over $50 billion in healthcare M&A
Long term corporate strategy aligned with opportunities tied to population health management is expected to drive decision-making tied to corporate restructuring, M&A, spin-offs, R&D spending and venture arm investments. Industry participants must evolve or risk obsolescence in a new healthcare industry paradigm where compensation is tied to outcomes.
The requirements for population health tools are forcing companies to consider their acquisition strategies differently, leading to more transactions involving companies in adjacent or complimentary markets.
6. Less expensive and faster point of care (POC) testing enables new diagnostic care models
Commercialization of new POC test platforms with capabilities such as molecular POC, connectivity features, biosensors and microfluidics is able to drastically improve turnaround times (5 to15 minutes) and allow for testing services to be performed in settings previously not feasible.
7. Free preventative care services available to over 90% in the U.S.
To mitigate the cost and care burden of late-stage chronic diseases, everyone from payers, employers, and the government will be offering a wide range of technology and wellness enabled preventative services. With access now available, it remains to be seen how engaged consumers will be in leveraging those services.
8. Healthcare IoT solutions spur $10 billion in venture capital investments for start-ups The startup environment in healthcare is being reinvigorated by a wide spectrum of early stage companies looking to bring their IoT expertise honed in other industries to healthcare. With a focus on “disruptive” business models, these companies are looking to help tear down outmoded forms of care delivery and deploy approaches optimizing new tools and technologies.
9. Hospitals investing heavily in overhauling and retooling outdated facilities to avoid closure trends
Ongoing trends of hospital closures and consolidations are forcing hospitals to rethink everything from hospital layout to resource utilization. Initiatives like the $1.3 billion overhaul of Dallas’s Parkland Hospital are happening around the country, as those institutions seek to adapt to new forms of care delivery that emphasize efficiency and patient satisfaction.
10. The global regenerative medicine market to reach $30 billion in 2016
Pharmaco will see the regenerative market as its trump card as the business is expected to see growth rates of 22.4% from 2015. With growing investments in this area, favorable legislative policies and an increasing number of cell therapy marketed products this business will witness new competitors vying for a slot.