Asia-Pacific Healthcare Outlook, 2018

The Year of Digital Innovation in Asia-Pacific
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Published: 3 Apr 2018

The healthcare industry in Asia-Pacific (APAC) is expected to grow at 12.5% in 2018, making it one of the fastest growing regions in the world, as the global healthcare economy averages an annual growth rate of 4.8%. This positive growth is fuelled by increasing adoption of technology, innovative healthcare access programs, and delivery of care outside traditional hospital settings. Frost & Sullivan projects the APAC healthcare market to grow to $517 billion in 2018. For the region, healthcare challenges of access and affordability of new technology demand complex and innovative solutions from all industry stakeholders. Key industry issues that deserve attention include policy innovation, support for new business models, development of patient-focused technology platforms, and the evolving role of consumers in healthcare. These emerging trends create growth opportunities for industry participants including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and medical technology manufacturers, digital health vendors, and healthcare service providers. The role of healthcare consumers is changing dramatically in APAC. Digital technology is enabling access to information and care; hence consumers are able to choose where, how, and by whom they would like to be treated. This is changing every business model in the region. With this major industry transition as the background, some of the Growth Opportunities discussed in this year’s Outlook cover the following areas: • Private Health Insurance • Medical Tourism • Healthcare Provider Infrastructure • Imaging Analytics • Patient Monitoring Platforms • Mental Health • Regenerative Medicine • Biosimilars • Cloud and AI. An important global trend that is currently missing in APAC is the introduction of value- and outcomes-based payment and reimbursement models. Industry suppliers, including IT vendors, medical technology companies and pharmaceuticals, are partnering with public and private payers to introduce outcomes-based reimbursement models for expensive therapeutic products and services in other parts of the world. In 2018, Japan could be the first in APAC to introduce an outcomes-based reimbursement model for Novartis’ CAR-T therapy, with China potentially following suit. On the other hand, personalization combined with consumer empowerment will be the key ingredient for disease prevention and patient wellness. Direct-to-consumer gene sequencing is moving toward services and solutions as companies like Prudential, iCarbonX, and Healthi have introduced personalized wellness interventions. On the other hand, companies like Thorne Research and Imagene Labs will make available personalized over-the-counter nutritional supplements and skin care products, respectively, and that too on a subscription model. In a nutshell, 2018 is expected to be the year when APAC truly transforms industry business models, with technology and data transparency being the key enablers. Our outlook discusses the qualitative and quantitative factors driving this transformation.



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