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Virtual consultations, remote monitoring, informatics and AI solutions to drive global healthcare industry in H2 2020

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Frost & Sullivan's Reenita Das explains how healthcare's success will depend on how it leverages pandemic learnings.

This pandemic has been a wake-up call for all of us in the industry to build a better stress test to our healthcare system.

The global economy is expected to suffer $6 to $8 trillion in losses due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The pharmaceutical, medical devices, diagnostics, imaging and digital health markets will lose $90 billion in potential products revenues. The market will grow by 0.6% in 2020. In the absence of the pandemic it could have crossed $2 trillion but now we stand to lose $92 billion of that potential revenue.

Main reasons for this decline include:

Delay in new product launches

The new key drugs that were supposed to be launched in 2020 were expected to generate $3 billion in revenues. However, launch of several drugs have been halted. Further, the largest and greatest tradeshows in medical imaging, where we usually see product launches, never took place.

Slump in elective surgeries and hospital administered drugs

Frost & Sullivan’s recent study revealed that for June, US surgeries in different specialties declined heavily. E.g.: Plastic Surgery: -100%, ENT: -79%, Ophthalmology: -66%, Cardiovascular: -53%, Neurosurgery: -47%, General & Abdominal: -43%, Orthopedics: -37%, OB/GYN: -49%, Urology: -33%.

Inadequate infrastructure for virtual care

In many countries, we’ve seen 70% to 80% of primary-care consultations either go online or be carried out by phone. Do we have the infrastructure to carry this out seamlessly-the answer is “No”. Well established Telehealth protocols are lacking and many aspects within a virtual visit need improvement.

These include the patient's ability to use devices to perform certain tasks for the physician, such as accurate BP, heart rhythm evaluation, or even gathering samples for a lab test. Broadband access, training to manage a video visit, security breaches and concerns about privacy continue to cause concern among patients and providers.

The top 5 predictions for H2 2020

Virtual consultations will witness greater than 100% growth in the United States

Virtual visits is expected to witness 124.3% revenue growth in 2020 in the United States alone, which is the largest telehealth market as well as a COVID-19 hotspot. Greater adoption will also be witnessed in Germany and the United Kingdom.

There is a strong impetus from governments to standardize the use of telehealth tools. Medical device and diagnostic companies should look at partnering with or acquiring telehealth providers to expand their diagnostic capabilities.

There will be an emergence of new point-of-care testing sites to treat the $5 billion infectious disease market globally this year

In the United States, numbers suggest that more than 1% of the population have been tested; effective surveillance requires doubling the testing capacity at a minimum. We believe that the testing market is going to be reinvented with a couple of movers and shakers that are changing it. Demonstrated benefits of IVD services in a retail setting will challenge traditional diagnostic labs. With the wide adoption of POCT technologies and higher expectations from customers, retailers (particularly pharmacies), may find providing selected diagnostic tests a complementary service offering. This effort will be amplified by integration with patient electronic health records (EHRs), including patient data from the pharmacy.

Critical care ventilator market to reach $2.4 billion in the United States and ~$1.5 Billion for Western Europe

The United States will have excess of 100,000 ventilators, while Western Europe will purchase another 30,000 to 50,000 ventilators through the end of 2020. The current procurement includes a mix of conventional high-end and portable ventilators. Adoption of wearable, analytics, and cloud technology will continue providing effective remote monitoring solutions. However, cybersecurity and interoperability challenges will have to be addressed.

33% of global clinical trials will be disrupted, putting $3 Billion in new product revenue at risk

The clinical trials IT solutions market (enabling patient recruitment and remote monitoring required for virtual trials) is expected to reach $560 million, driven by mHealth solutions. Potential cost savings in virtual or remote patient monitoring trials will be the highest in central nervous system-focused areas such as pain and anesthesia with the potential of saving $10 million per study, followed by hematology trials with expected savings of up to 20%.

Informatics and AI solutions addressing workflow automation, and operational analytics will witness 100% growth In 2020

As patients accept the new normal and begin to feel comfortable returning to hospitals, the number of elective procedures will surge due to pent-up demand. Radiology departments that have been operating at 25%-30% of capacity during the pandemic will scale up to 65%-75% capacity by Q4 2020. Equipment that embeds workflow automation, image sharing, and analytical solutions will boost workflow by 40%-50%, allowing for higher procedure volumes. The pandemic has proven the value of teleradiology and AI technology and most importantly the cost savings from that.

Last word

We have gained tremendous amount of learning during this pandemic. The big question for all of us is - how do we leverage this learning and apply it during a non-crises time? A large part of how we adapt at peacetime will determine our success.

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