Global online doctor consultation market, by video chat is expected to grow at CAGR of 7.6 % during the forecast period 2023–2031.
Online doctor consultation or technology-enabled care offers telehealth, telemedicine, telecare, mHealth, and digital health care services. According to the health consumer survey, 2017, by Accenture, 70% of all the consumers are willing to experience health care services virtually, apart from this only 20% have experienced virtual healthcare. Currently, consumers expectations for the convenient healthcare system is evolving while the healthcare industry is continuously striving to meet people’s needs through technological aid.
Rising demand for smart devices such as smartphone, laptop, and tablets among others are expected to drive the online doctor consultation market. Moreover, due to increasing population solutions such as retail clinics, and urgent care centers as falling short to satisfy emergency needs. Thus, embracing technology integrated business models to reach patients faster are expected to be the major factor to fuel the market growth during forecast period. Furthermore, certified doctors and physicians are registering themselves on various virtual and online healthcare service platforms. There has been appreciable growth in the download and use of mobile-based health applications in the last five years which is further expected to throw a positive stretch to the online doctor consultation market in near future.
The global online doctor consultation market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period 2023–2031. This is attributed due to rising penetration of smart devices like smartphone, laptop, and tablets and individual’s inclination towards using healthcare applications. Digital technology is rapidly growing, and its cost is plunging. However, rising cost of healthcare services and its growing demand are challenging health economies across the world. There is a pertinent need to adopt technology to meet these challenges, but the healthcare sector continues to lag other industries in using technology.
Interoperability, information exchange, machine to machine communication, and data movement, will help to enhance healthcare service delivery. Thus, with the technological evolution in the healthcare industry, digital healthcare services, for instance, online consultations market is projected to offer several opportunities during the forecast period.
Additionally, rapid adoption of integrated business models to reach patients faster during emergency requirements is likely to boost the online doctor consultation market. Conventional business model of healthcare system comprises brick and mortar solutions and retail clinics and urgent care centres. With the growing population and changing demographic curve, these solutions are falling short to cater to the emerging needs. Thus, emergency care units are falling, and investment in retail clinics are declining. As per the Urgent Care Association of America, average visits per site has dropped to 12000 from 14000 between 2014–2016. Consequently, the related investments in retail clinics have been shrunk to USD 29 million (2016) from USD 160 million (2007).
Global online doctor consultation market has been segmented majorly based on type of consultation, application, and organization size.
Market is bifurcated into video chat, audio chat, and others. The acceptance of remote video consultation between doctors and patients is increasing rapidly due to easy accessibility, affordability, and convivence. Video consultation eliminates geographical limitations and time delays of doctor availability in case of all emergency situations. There are various health and nursing federations organize Online Learning Program (OLP) that are funded by the government for providing telehealth online video consultation. For instance, the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) conducts a nine-module program that provides information about telehealth online video consultation for clients in remote, rural, and outer metropolitan areas.
The market is segmented into health education, medical files management, disease specific health assessment, online reference services, remote consultation, and others. Diseases specific health assessment is estimated to achieve a fastest growth rate during the forecast period 2019—2026. The primary reason behind this growth is increasing adoption of virtual medical centers by the people from the remote areas with the use of chatbots, audio, video and others. Remote consultation application is projected to achieve a considerable growth rate after diseases specific health assessment, which is mainly attributed owing to rising smartphone usage and favorable government policies.
The market is segmented into large enterprises and SMEs. Exponential growth in technology is causing disruptive changes and tap on the resources to make an interface that is easy to operate. The specialty of such software is that it needs no separate training to be able to understand its functioning since the user is well-equipped with a User ID, which helps to access this software. The aim of any online consultation service provider is to provide a reliable, flexible, seamless, convenient yet affordable software to doctors and clinics with faster, smarter solutions.
Geographically, the global online doctor consultation market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America, Middle East & Africa (LAMEA).
North America is likely to lead the market as it is already a common practice to consult the doctor via video. According to the America Hospital Association, 65 percent of the U.S. hospitals connected with patients and consulting practitioners using video and other technology. Video consultation through a computer, tablet, or smartphone has a higher appeal among consumers. For instance, according to a survey conducted in 2015 by American Well Telemedicine Consumer, 64% of Americans were willing to have a video visit with their doctor.
Europe is likely to witness significant growth in the market due to the population growth, aging societies, and changing disease patterns are expected to drive greater demand for online medical consultation market in this region. Moreover, Health workforce imbalances and shortages are one of the major drivers for the market in Europe. According to the WHO/ Europe, the number of health workers in the region may not be enough to cover the future health needs of an aging population, despite an increasing number of health workers (approximately 10% over the past 10 years) from the past decade.
Improving access to the healthcare and medical service is the primary factor driving the online doctor service market in the Asia Pacific region. In addition, the region has great potential due to its increasing aging population, rising incidence of chronic diseases, and growing need to manage healthcare care. Online doctor consultation market has huge opportunities in countries such as India and China. For instance, India has chalked out an ambitious plan under National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (around 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage of per family up to 5 lakh rupees per year These supporting policies initiated by governments across country will boost the investment in online and digital healthcare services in the region.
LAMEA is expected to witness a healthy growth in market owing to advancing technology, it has become easier for patients in the Middle East to access healthcare remotely, particularly those based in hard-to-reach locations. Recent innovation like telemedicine has also offered opportunities for doctors to gain experience and practice medicine in other countries. In the oil economies of the Arabian Gulf, telemedicine has garnered pockets of support both across the governmental and private sectors. The introduction and popularization of the Internet have further accelerated the pace of online consultation. Currently, internet penetration in the Middle East is more than 65%.
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