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Digital health is transforming the future of healthcare

The realm of conventional healthcare is undergoing a profound shift, with digital health emerging as the new norm. The global pandemic acted as a catalyst, prompting consumers worldwide to embrace the idea of accessing healthcare through online channels. Exciting technological advancements, including AR/VR, artificial intelligence, telemedicine, and telehealth, among others, are revolutionizing the traditional healthcare landscape. Patients now gravitate towards various digital avenues for their healthcare needs, such as video calls, audio calls, and messaging apps, finding particular convenience in managing prescription refills, minor illnesses, and mental conditions. According to our upcoming report, “Global Digital Health Market and Trends 2023”, the digital health market is projected to experience exponential growth, with revenue expected to achieve a double-digit CAGR between 2022 and 2032, reaching billions of euros by 2032.

Despite this remarkable revenue growth, total digital health funding experienced a decline in 2022 after reaching its peak in 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, the digital health market witnessed fluctuations in funding, with investors shifting away from late-stage deals involving firms. Additionally, the growth surge fueled by the pandemic diminished in 2022 due to macroeconomic conditions such as inflation, interest rate hikes, and supply chain disruptions, which hindered investments in digital health. Nevertheless, the United States, followed by Europe, accounted for the highest funding amounts compared to other regions, with health IT and telehealth receiving the most significant funding in terms of digital health segments.

As consumers increasingly expect seamless experiences, from browsing for doctors to booking appointments and consultations, the demand for telemedicine and telehealth is on the rise. In the United States, for example, a survey conducted in 2022 revealed that the majority of respondents preferred telemedicine, marking an 8-percentage-point increase from the previous year. Live phone without video, live video, and health apps/websites emerged as the preferred ways to access healthcare via telemedicine among American adults in 2022. Moreover, video visits and virtual chats between physicians and patients through apps or messaging platforms became the top digital health approaches implemented by physicians as of March 2022, with over half of surveyed physicians expressing interest in digital health solutions such as tele-visits and remote patient monitoring. Healthcare providers in the U.S. cited ease of use, convenience for patients, and the ability to work remotely as the primary benefits of telehealth in May 2022. Similarly, more than half of the surveyed patients embraced telehealth due to its accessibility, eliminating the need for travel or time off work.

However, the growth patterns of digital health solutions vary across different nations. In Canada, for instance, a majority of respondents showed a preference for digital health solutions such as transferring prescriptions digitally from doctors to pharmacists and accessing personal health records online in November 2022. In Germany, over two-thirds of patients expressed their willingness to book appointments online in 2022. Furthermore, in France, almost three-quarters of respondents claimed to use teleconsultation, with online appointment booking and digital submission of results being the most widely adopted digital health tools among surveyed adults in November 2022.

The global digital health market is witnessing the rise of various trends, including the use of AR/VR, artificial intelligence, and health and fitness apps. Digital wellness apps, for example, monitor consumers’ health data, sending notifications and alerts during emergencies, thereby facilitating remote patient monitoring. Artificial intelligence in healthcare not only enables early detection of life-threatening conditions but also supports treatment, reducing healthcare costs and increasing treatment success rates. Another disruptive trend in the digital health market is the use of AR/VR, which aids in medical training, surgeries, rehabilitation, and the diagnosis of cognitive impairments.

To sum up, the advent of digital health apps, telemedicine, AR/VR, and AI is reshaping the conventional healthcare industry. The adoption and utilization of digital health tools are on the rise among patients and medical professionals alike, promising a future where healthcare becomes more accessible, efficient, and personalized.