The healthcare industry is highly uncertain owing to the constantly changing regulations, reimbursement, and standards, especially regarding interoperability and care qualities. By the end of 2017, it was predicted that the healthcare institutes are expected to focus on advanced technologies to provide efficient and high quality care. The growing opioid epidemic due opioid overdose is one of the key trend that will trigger surge in investments in patient monitoring solutions to protect patient and healthcare staffs.
Growing trend of preventive healthcare and rising funding for digital startups are also some of the factors boosting the market. Most of the digital health trends including robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), IoT powered wearables, and telemedicine are in their early phase of adoption. Internet of Things in healthcare is a growing market with continuous innovations in this area. The global Internet of Things in healthcare market size was valued at USD 147.1 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 19.9% over the forecast period.
According to the Society of Actuaries, around 47% of the healthcare providers used predictive analytics in 2017 that got extended to 49% in 2018 and 89% of the healthcare providers either currently plan to invest in it or use predictive analytics in the next 5 years. The same publication reported that over 50% of the healthcare providers have invested 15% or more of their budget for installing predictive analytics in 2018, which is a five point surge since 2017. This indicates the current adoption of analytics in the healthcare industry.
High penetration of smartphones is also one of the significant factors boosting the growth of Internet of Things in healthcare market. As per The Mobile Economy 2018, smartphone penetration was 57% in 2017 and is expected to reach 77% by 2025. Increase in the number of mobile subscriptions is also contributing to an increase in the demand for healthcare IoT solutions. As per the statistics published in GSM Association’s report, The Mobile Economy 2018, the number of people connected to mobile services surpassed 5 billion in 2017 and the number of unique mobile subscribers is expected to reach 5.9 billion by 2025 (71% of the global population).
The rise in adoption of mobile apps among healthcare professionals is one of the key trend of the current healthcare industry. In the U.S., all the mHealth apps should be in compliance with HIPAA norms. The government intervention in this sector is one of the key indicators that depicts its wider adoption in the U.S. market. According to the United Nations estimates in 2018, nearly 51% of the global population, which is approximately 3.9 billion, have access to the internet. Out of which 90% of those have an access to high speed network, such as 3G and 4G. Moreover, the digital health industry has received 46% higher funding this year than the previous year, the global VC funding reached USD 9 billion in 2018 for this industry. Also, the number of mobile health apps has grown over double in number from 2015. All the aforementioned factors further represent the current market dynamics.
Robot implementation in healthcare institutes
Robot implementation in healthcare institutes is the current trend of the healthcare industry. Medical robotics is responsible for a paradigm shift in healthcare industry, from fee-for-services to value based patient care services. The shortage of healthcare professionals is one of the key factors responsible for stimulating the adoption of medical robots.
Growth in investment in robotic companies owing to huge market potential in the robotics industry, long term cost saving potential, and lower interest rates, is driving the current market. Currently, Intuitive Surgical dominates the medical robotics, space with approximately USD 3.3 billion annually in terms of sales. Although the adoption of da Vinci robotic surgeons in the type of procedure they handle is limited, the potential of multi-limbed da Vinci systems in various minimally invasive surgeries, such as gynecological, cardiac, colorectal, and urological surgeries is very high.
According to a robotic investment analyst from Robo Global, an investment advisory firm, robotics and artificial intelligence revolution in the healthcare industry is happening very fast, and thus the investors should focus on this industry for long term returns. With the approval gained in March 2018 by the U.S. FDA for the Auris Health’s catheter based Monarch Platform, Auris Health became a threat for Intuitive Surgical. However, Intuitive Surgical also sought approval for a similar flexible catheter in September 2018.
On the other hand, market participants of medical robotics industry, such as Smith and Nephew; Stryker; Mazor Robotics; and Zimmer Biomet, are working on areas where Intuitive is not a part of. The stocks of medical devices/equipment manufacturers have spiked up by 15% on an annual basis. This depicts the current market competition and competitive rivalry among the key market players. Intuitive Surgical stock has grown up by 33% this year, with the da Vinci systems expanded its scope in hernia and bariatric surgeries induce weight loss.
Robotic market is expected to experience growth, which can be well established by the fact that the giant medical equipment manufacturers are investing in this industry and are merging with other market participants to develop robotic systems and enter this market. For instance, J&J and Google to form Verb Surgical. And, also the partnership between Mazor Robotics and Medtronic to develop robotic surgical systems is one of such example, which depicts its current market potential.
In November 2018, Auris Health raised approximately USD 220 million for developing its medical robotic platform. The funding raised a total amount of USD 700 million over four rounds. In June same year, Savioke raised USD 13.4 million in series B funding to develop robotic automation system. Recruit; NESIC; Brain Corp; and Swisslog Healthcare are the new investors of Savioke. These are some of the investments in the robotics industry. Moreover, the sales of medical robots has increased by approximately 70% from the previous year.
Surge in usage of blockchain in operation management
As in other sectors, block chain is in nascent stage in the healthcare industry. Block chain has the capabilities to reshape this industry. Investment in block chain is the current trend in the health IT. According to the global block chain survey 2018, nearly 74% of the respondents believe that the implementation of block chain technology would positively impact their business and are planning to invest in this technology. Approximately 33% of these executives already had implemented blockchain applications and more than 40% of those said that their organization would invest over USD 5 million in next one year to implement this technology.
Over past few years, it has been seen that the large technology companies are investing heavily in healthIT sector. For example, Alphabet invested USD 375 million in Oscar, a tech focused health insurance startup in August 2018. Similarly, in June 2018, Amazon and PillPack signed a definitive merger agreement to develop an advanced presorted medication system. These are few investments in medical operation management for data protection, which is boosting the use of block chain in healthcare sectors.