The trends are different in different geographies, as the value sought by the consumers and the market drivers remain unique. The demand for medical equipment from emerging countries will outpace demand from developed countries in the next 5 years. While the U.S. and Europe markets are growing at 7-8% a year, Indian and Chinese markets are growing at 25% a year.
With 50% of the global population slated to be over 65 years in 2039, the Medical Devices Industry in developed nations is undergoing a strategic change with the focus of the industry moving from diagnosis to prevention. With a large aging population and the increased incidence of lifestyle and chronic diseases, innovations that reduce or eliminate hospital stays will be critical: remote healthcare, wireless enablement, minimally-invasive treatments. Increased focus on preventive care is forcing growing investments in products/solutions for home care, remote monitoring, tele-health and self-monitoring.
The demand for self-medication and home-based treatment is increasing, with more and more patients resorting to both the diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases at home. Driven by an increasing awareness of lifestyle disorders and familiarity with new technologies through use of the Internet and consumer devices like MP3 players, gaming devices, smartphones, people are likely to adopt more sophisticated devices to self-monitor their health conditions. The rapid technological developments that home-use devices such as glucose monitors, insulin delivery devices, nebulizers and oxygen concentrators have undergone is contributing to this trend. The use of remote communication technology to allow healthcare professionals to support home-based patients is further aiding to the preference for home and self-care. For consumers, this could mean convenience in time and travel and reduced healthcare costs, while for doctors; it could mean more efficient and effective healthcare, driven by patients who take greater responsibility for their own health.
The emerging markets on the other hand are responding to an entirely different set of drivers. On one front, there is a large population (1 billion+) that is waiting to be integrated with the healthcare system, thereby opening enormously large opportunities to sell medical devices. But the challenges are many and new. The price points in these markets need to be much lower compared to the western markets. The established practices of reaching out to the potential buyers and influencers (patients and care providers) will not be effective. The distribution strategies have to be re-worked. In order to meet all the challenges and make a successful foray into these markets, companies are changing their operating models for R&D, supply chain, manufacturing and business models. Driven by an ever expanding patient pool, improving healthcare infrastructure, rise in healthcare spending and enhanced health awareness and affordability these markets are expected to exceed USD 25 billion in 2016.
Wipro's decades of experience in consumer, wireless and mobile devices technologies, its proximity to one of the largest emerging markets (India) and its investments in solutions like remote monitoring, tele-health and disease management makes it an ideal partner for enabling companies to meet the new challenges and make the best out of these exploding opportunities. ?