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Healthcare accelerates shifts towards digital during COVID-19: new yStats.com report.

The latest publication from Germany-based online research firm yStats.com, “Europe Digital Health Market and Trends 2021” offers a comprehensive overview of the virtual healthcare services in Europe after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report provides insights into possible future developments of the industry based on the forecasted market values, consumers’ preferences and intentions, as well technological trends.

The acceleration of the digital health market worldwide

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the global health industry realized the necessity of speeding the movement to digital space. Despite some implementation difficulties detailed in the new yStats.com publication, the market is set to follow an upward trend to online services in the next five to six years, growing at double-digit rates yearly across the globe. Moreover, the number of mobile applications available in online stores reached its all-time high in 2021, indicating the increasing consumer interest in virtual healthcare services. Among the top medical applications worldwide by the number of downloads were those for monitoring individuals’ “Mental health and behavioral disorders”, and such diseases as “Diabetes”, “Heart/circulatory system”, and “Digestive system”. Additionally, an integral part of the digital health sector, telemedicine, is among the main trends to be adopted and developed further in the near future, and already in 2021, more than half of global healthcare decision-makers believe that telemedicine is one of the health technologies with the highest investment. Furthermore, almost three-quarters of the healthcare leaders claimed that within the next three years, hospitals must increase their investment in AI as a digital health technology, according to a 2021 survey cited in the yStats.com report.

Europe is catching up in digital health adoption during COVID-19

On the European landscape, Estonia, select Nordic countries, Austria, Germany, and the UK were acknowledged as role models for digital health innovation in 2020 by the healthcare professionals surveyed during the pandemic. Despite this, some of the market leaders in the region, “Funding and costs” was seen as the main challenge in digital health services adoption and their further developments, along with “IT security & data privacy”, and “Integration within and across organizations”.