Since our Voice of the Healthcare Industry Market Outlook report in December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every single member of the healthcare community, both personally and professionally – and at every level of the supply chain, from manufacture to bedside care.
Through this year's survey, we asked healthcare respondents worldwide about the impact of the events of 2020-21, including technological, financial and healthcare delivery. We also invited respondents to share how they responded to the pandemic.
The global industry still appears to be optimistic about its financial future – the majority of respondents expect an increase in turnover from 2020 to 2021. Almost a third expect an increase of more than 20%, particularly agents, dealers, and distributors (34%) and manufacturers (32%). Only 10% of all respondents predict a decrease in revenue. Optimism has declined since the 2019 survey, however, when 79% predicted an increase in revenue.
A large proportion (72%) of respondents from government and health regulatory authorities expect government spending to increase over the next three years – compared to just 18% who expect it to stay the same or 10% who expect it to decrease. This is a slightly better outlook than in December 2019, when 69% expected to see an increase in government spending and 16% expected to see a decrease.
Government and health authority respondents were also incredibly optimistic about their confidence in achieving herd immunity over the next 12 months. 89% of respondents were at least somewhat confident – with 30% expressing a high level of confidence in achieving this goal. Authorities are also feeling confident in their ability to respond to future outbreaks, with 89% expressing a degree of confidence.
When asked when they see a return to ‘normal’ times, feelings are mixed. The highest proportion (37%) believe it to be 2022 and roughly a quarter (26%) believe it to be 2023. 11% are looking to 2024 or beyond, and 9% believe they will never return to what was ‘normal’ before the pandemic. An optimistic 18% believe normality will return in 2021.
New technology remains the key investment priority for the healthcare industry, with 41% of respondents identifying it as one of theirs – compared to Telemedicine at 30%, Internet of Medical Things at 30%, transformation to value-based care at 29%, AI at 24%, home healthcare services at 23%, new infrastructure at 20% and robotics at 13%.
For medical practitioners on the ground especially, investment in new technologies has become the best opportunity for their business for the next 12 months. 48% of clinics and medical practices responded that this was the best opportunity for their business growth over the next 12 months – compared to just 23% identifying diversification and 27% looking to enter new markets to achieve growth.
Investment in new technologies is seen as a far smaller opportunity over the next 12 months by manufacturers.
Digitalisation is by far the most prioritised technological investment for all of the key industry areas over the next 12 months at 43% overall, but particularly in the Africa and Europe regions (both 54%).
AI follows, but is less of a priority for manufacturers and for businesses in Europe. Big Data is of less concern for Europe and Asia, but a much higher priority for consultancies (who specialise in it), who won’t be placing much priority on robotics or 3D printing (4-5%). The GCC region is prioritising robotics over Big Data, however.
Telemedicine is another important priority for the industry, particularly for clinics and medical practices and businesses with a turnover of US$ 5-10 million, and more so for those in the GCC and Middle East.
AI in electronic health records is also a higher priority in the Americas than in any other region, and it’s a higher priority for clinics and medical practices (as well as for companies with a turnover above US$ 100 million) than it is for agents, dealers and distributors, consultancies, and manufacturers – which all place higher priority on AI in diagnostics.
The Internet of Medical Things is a bigger priority over the next 12 months for companies with a smaller turnover than for those with a turnover above $26 million. It’s also the second highest priority in Africa at 39%, which is the most of all the regions.
About the report
The Voice of the Healthcare Industry Market Outlook 2021 survey was designed by Informa Markets to understand the impact that the pandemic has had on four key areas of the industry: manufacturers and agents, dealers and distributors; clinics and medical practices; private hospitals and public hospitals; government and health regulators; and charities, non-profits and NGOs.
Through GRS Research & Strategy Middle East we asked 1,600 respondents worldwide about the financial and operational impact of the events brought by the pandemic.
The survey also looked to assess how the industry has responded to the pandemic, and how key players have evolved their business strategy. We also asked participants to reflect on how the future will look, and what key trends they are now anticipating.