The IT-enabled healthcare segment of the overall healthcare industry is one of the most promising and rapidly expanding markets today. Research indicates that the IT-enabled healthcare market around the world will expand at an 11.80% CAGR from 2014 to 2020, rising from its valuation of US$96.8 bn in 2013 to US$210.3 bn by 2020.
Even though developed regions such as North America and Europe – being the early adopters of eHealth solutions – currently dominate the global IT-enabled healthcare market, the focus is fast shifting to developing economies in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East, despite the late penetration of IT-enabled healthcare. These regions offer immense growth opportunities and are projected to witness remarkable expansion over the next few years
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Countries in Latin America Gaining Prominence
The World Bank recently reported that universal healthcare in Latin America is on the rise, with countries such as Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, Jamaica, Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, and Mexico witnessing a transformational growth in the healthcare sector. This boost indicates that Latin America has immense potential when it comes to IT-enabled healthcare.
Earlier this month, International Living magazine listed Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica among the top four countries with the best healthcare in the world. Factors such as high quality healthcare, affordable health coverage, state-of-the-art hospitals, presence of top-notch private healthcare providers, and growth of medical tourism drive the healthcare sector in this region, and these factors make Latin America an ideal destination for IT-enabled healthcare.
With Promises Galore, India Attracts Several Market Players
Like many other Asian countries, India too has been undergoing rapid technological changes in almost every industry and the healthcare sector is no exception. The IT-enabled healthcare market in India has been greatly impacted by the efforts of the government in the form of publishing of various e-health journals and formation of key organizations such as the Medical Informatics Society of India and the Telemedicine Society of India. IT-enabled healthcare is one of the successful ways by which India has been transforming its healthcare industry. One of the most prominent factors that works in the favor of the IT-enabled healthcare market in India is favorable patient demographics. In addition, the rising adoption of mHealth, electronic health records, web-based services, and telemedicine also presents a host of opportunities for players within the IT-enabled healthcare market.
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Last month, the Central Government of India put into practice several IT-based healthcare initiatives. These include an IT-enabled tool to help tobacco users quit their addiction, an audio-based mobile service that delivers weekly voice messages on pre- and post-natal healthcare, a helpline for patients suffering from tuberculosis, an IT-enabled out-patient department registry block at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and a mobile app to train accredited social health activists.