Frost & Sullivan: Double digit growth rates will propel APAC to form 28% of US$2 trillion global healthcare market in 2018

SINGAPORE, Jan. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The healthcare industry in Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at 11.1% in 2018, representing one of the fastest growing regions in the world, as the global healthcare economy averages a 4.8% annual growth rate. The positive growth is fuelled by increasing adoption of technology, innovative healthcare access programmes and delivery of care outside traditional hospital settings. Frost & Sullivan projects the Asia Pacific healthcare market to grow to US$517 billion in 2018.

Frost & Sullivan presented the Asia-Pacific Healthcare Outlook, 2018 at the Conrad Centennial Hotel, Singapore on 11th Jan. The event was attended by close to 100 senior management and C-suite executives, marking the start of an exciting year ahead for the industry.

Even though the given political concerns and rising pressures to decrease healthcare costs, this industry will register globally a stable growth rate of 4.82% during this year. Key trends such as X-as-a-Service model will create new revenue streams driving future sustainability for the healthcare industry and Cloud will emerge as a core platform since all stakeholders need to expand storage flexibility. Finally, the ongoing digital transformation and the smart city concept will push the need for hospitals to become 'Smart Hospitals', with the Asia-Pacific countries driving this revolution.

For the Asia-Pacific region, healthcare challenges of access and affordability of new technology demand complex and innovative solutions from all industry stakeholders. The room generated interesting conversations around regulatory transitions, new business models, emerging technology platforms, evolving role of consumers and growth opportunities for industry participants including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical technology manufacturers, digital health vendors and healthcare service providers. A key theme was the increasing industry focus on healthcare outcomes vs cost and patient-centric treatment pathways.

"The role of healthcare consumers is changing dramatically in Asia-Pacific. Digital technology enables 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", noted Rhenu Bhuller, Partner, Frost & Sullivan.

Karthik Rajan, Head of Consulting for the Frost & Sullivan Transformational Health practice presented the top predictions for the industry in 2018. The following is a round-up of the top 5 growth influencers.

  • Despite the push for primary care, hospital expansion will continue to serve demand in emerging markets

These include development of hospitals along with integrated primary care chains and specialist clinics through partnerships and venture funding. In addition to expansion in points of care outside of the hospital setting, there will be shifts in policy makers' appetite for regulatory transformation to support goals for universal healthcare coverage and access and in private health insurers driving wellness and early intervention.

  • Private health insurers will bring in solutions to reduce the financial burden of ill-health at a population level

Private Health Insurance providers are experimenting with digital platforms for chronic disease management and wellness that reward patients for healthy behaviours and can potentially reduce the payout burden at a population level. They are also investing in InsurTech solutions as well as innovative distribution channels to improve market penetration.

  • Outbound medical tourism from China and India will grow to over 170 million travellers by 2018.

Medical Tourism is also set to take on greater prominence in 2018. With six of the world's top 10 medical tourist destinations, Asia Pacific will be the fastest growing region for medical tourism in 2018 with growth rates exceeding 15%. The increasing use of technology in areas such as minimally invasive surgery or teleconsultation for pre and post treatment follow up are providing further platforms for growth.

  • ASEAN Harmonization

In 2018, Singapore also assumes chairmanship of ASEAN, bringing in the themes of "resilience" and "innovation". Singapore will target boosting e-commerce and promoting development of smart cities across the region. Healthcare markets will benefit significantly from these initiatives, especially if the underlying issues like data protection and cybersecurity are actively addressed.

  • Personalization combined with consumer empowerment will be the key ingredient for prevention & wellness

Direct-to-consumer gene sequencing is moving towards services and solutions as companies like Prudential, iCarbonX and Healthi 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.

Separately, topics such as value based care (and outcome-based reimbursement) models matched by preventative care were also discussed as part of a panel discussion featuring industry leaders such as Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei, Vice President, Communications and Value-Based Healthcare, Medtronic, Dr. Jozica Habijanic, Head, Strategic Development, Roche Diagnostic and Farhana Nakhooda, Director, IBM Industry Academy Member.

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Melissa Tan
Corporate Communications -- Asia Pacific
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