16 Jan 2014, Ms Rhenu Bhuller , BioSpectrum
Healthcare across Asia-Pacific today is in a state of constant evolution due to changes in care delivery, solutions and technology application across the value-chain. As governments strive to provide public healthcare services ranging from community hospitals to acute care services to meet population demands, private healthcare service provision continues to expand due to economic growth, increasing incidences of chronic diseases, greater consumer aware- ness of health issues, medical tourism and the overall de- sire for quality healthcare.
Healthcare stakeholders in Asia-Pacific are and will increasingly need to cater to a well-informed audience, who is cognizant of treatment options, industry innovations as well as global trends. However, the focus in Asia Pacific is still very much on treatment, as consumers prefer to seek treatment at hospitals and specialist centers. We are also seeing the rise of other service providers such as diagnostic service providers and aged care service providers, reflecting the growing trend in preventive health as well as the requirements for aged care services.
Frost & Sullivan's predictions for the Asia-Pacific Healthcare industry in 2014 are as follows: Transparency in pharma pricing In an effort to curb corruption, improve access to therapies and control healthcare monetization a number of governments across Asia-Pacific, including India, China and Australia will take measures to create transparency in the pricing of pharmaceutical products. Additionally, governments will create conditions for more aggressive pricing and also improve drug reimbursement regimes to support access to care for underserved communities.
Medical device industry to grow
Relaxation of registration and distribution laws for low risk category medical devices in countries like Singapore and South Korea will heighten market competition. On the other hand, increased scrutiny of R&D and manufacturing processes will increase costs for device manufacturers. Such dynamics will significantly pressurize margins for companies operating in this space.
Value-based Care Gains Momentum
Healthcare payers across the region are voicing their opinions on the need for value-based care. The aim is to then move towards healthcare systems of the western world where payments and reimbursements are tied to the quality of care. Healthcare providers and manufacturers will be pressed to deliver cost effective, measurable care.
Focus on Collaboration and Efficiency
Healthcare organizations are shifting gears from investment to returns. While significant amount has been spent on digitization and adoption of sophisticated tools, the impact and return on investment is not perceivable. Healthcare consumers, payers and providers will place much greater emphasis on efficiency and cost reduction through improved collaboration across departments and organizations.
Private care services to expand
The private healthcare services industry is still in a strong growth phase, with key players eyeing expansion activities in countries such as China and Indonesia where the addressable market remains untapped. The focus on cross border treatment is also driving new partnerships and services where healthcare services merge with hospitality services. The trends and market dynamics of 2014 are a product of the consumer-driven reform in healthcare systems across the Asia-Pacific Healthcare industry. Industry stakeholders are working towards the vision of Smart Communities where concerted advancements in healthcare as well as other industries pave way for the progress of the society as a whole.