The latest publication of Germany-based market intelligence firm yStats.com, “Europe Digital Health Market and Trends 2023”, summarizes the emerging trends and developments within the European digital health market. The report highlights key digital health technologies expected to enhance diagnostic efficiency in the future, the interests of patients and medical professionals across European countries regarding digital health technologies, and the primary benefits and challenges faced by stakeholders in adopting digital health solutions.
The digital health market is flourishing globally, with various digital health tools gaining popularity throughout European nations
As consumers worldwide gravitate towards digital health tools, the traditional healthcare market is poised for transformation. Patients and medical professionals are increasingly receptive to digital health solutions such as telemedicine, health and wellness apps, disease management tools, and wearables. The yStats.com report reveals a projected double-digit CAGR growth between 2022 and 2032, with the digital health market expected to reach a value of nearly EUR 900 billion by 2032. As the utilization and adoption of digital health tools increase, several European countries are implementing their own digital health strategies, while others are digitalizing their healthcare systems. To support the implementation of digital health solutions, special agencies and committees have been established in European countries. For example, France’s Health Data Hub evaluates the collection of patients’ medical data, making it available for clinical and medical research. According to a survey, telehealth and artificial intelligence (AI) are the top two digital health technologies expected to enhance diagnostic efficiency and effectiveness in the next 3-5 years, as indicated by a majority of clinicians in Europe.
Although digital health solutions are gaining appeal worldwide, the adoption of these tools varies across regions. In the UK, nearly half of surveyed adults reported using a health app as of April 2022, with the majority falling within the 18-24 age range. More than half of adults in the UK found health apps somewhat useful in improving health and well-being. In Germany, online appointment booking and e-prescriptions were the two most popular digital health solutions among surveyed patients in 2022. Among German medical professionals, over half of doctors found video consultation services useful, with some indicating the benefits of augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) in training and surgeries, as per the yStats.com report. In Spain, close to two-thirds of respondents preferred telephone consultations, while over half of them expressed a preference for video consultations if available in 2022.
Despite the booming digital health industry, certain services such as e-prescriptions and electronic health records are progressing slowly
Technological advancements and emerging trends are driving the global growth of the digital health industry. Consumers increasingly rely on digital platforms for purchasing products and accessing services, and healthcare is no exception. Innovative trends such as AR/VR in healthcare, telemedicine, telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and wearables and health apps are reshaping the healthcare market. Around half of surveyed clinicians in Europe believed that new technologies in digital health would greatly or somewhat improve diagnostic capabilities as of 2022, according to the yStats.com report. While certain digital health tools like telemedicine, health and wellness apps, and online appointment booking and lab result submission are popular among consumers and doctors, the adoption of electronic health records and e-prescriptions remains slow across Europe. In Germany, approximately three-quarters of healthcare leaders expressed interest in investing in digital health records in the previous year, but this figure dropped to around half as of March 2022, lower than investments in other segments such as telehealth. It is projected that by 2023, the majority of prescriptions in Germany will still be paper-based, with a small share transitioning to digital. More than half of surveyed doctors indicated that they did not use electronic prescriptions but planned to do so in the future, as of July 2022. Reasons cited by doctors for not using electronic health records mainly included technical issues, while a minority mentioned patient reluctance. However, in Switzerland, almost three-quarters of doctors reported maintaining electronic medical records in January 2022, as revealed by the yStats.com report.