August, 2021

The Future of Digital Health in Asia

Aug 18th 2021

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Table of Contents
01   Digital Health Trends in 2021
02   The HealthTech Monthly Roundup
03   How Consumer Health Apps Mitigates Pandemic Impact
04   Digital Patient Journeys Now Start At Home
05   Inside Look: The Future of Digital Health in Asia

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly thrust patients and physicians into a world of digital health tools. The digital health space has seen an increase in investment, with a record $24 billion of investments in digital health in 2020. This trend is likely to continue as opportunities expand for mobile technologies to intervene in patient health. Here are the top trends for 2021:

  1. Growing maturity of digital health tools: Multiple types of digital health tools contributed to reducing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These tools are now established parts of the digital health landscape. Consumer apps are the most widely used digital health tools, shifting rapidly toward disease-specific needs. But quality is inconsistent, and consumers need to be selective.
  2. Digital Therapeutics and Digital Care products: Incorporating software as a means to treat, prevent or manage specific diseases or conditions has increased. More than 250 such products are now identified, including about 150 products commercially available and the rest in development.
  3. Wearables and digital biomarkers: The use of wearables, connected sensors and digital biomarkers is expanding. They are gaining adoption in clinical trials and enabling remote monitoring of patients that can influence care delivery. Activity monitoring devices that measure heart rate, steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned account for about 55% of the 384 wearable devices currently marketed to consumers. 
  4. Evidence: The body of evidence around the effectiveness of digital health apps is now substantial and supports the inclusion of digital health tools in treatment guidelines for an expanded set of health indications. These include cardiovascular applications and the management of some chronic conditions (e.g., pain). More than 2,000 efficacy studies have been published since 2007, including almost 1,500 published in the past five years.
  5. Commercialization Models: Multiple commercialization pathways now exist for digital health tools. This expanded access offers opportunities for developers to attain an economic return on investment for those tools supported by robust evidence and user demand. Four broad commercial models are now in place and being used to pay or reimburse digital tool developers, namely —  direct-to consumer, value-based contracting, “device-like” reimbursement and “drug-like” reimbursement models


Integrating With a Nationalised Health Ecosystem

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The HealthTech Monthly Roundup

A quick roundup of the month’s latest healthtech activity, both in India and globally.


  1. Health Budget for 2021-22 declined by  9.8% from revised estimates in 2020-21, despite an urgent demand for upscaling medical infrastructure due to the pandemic.
  2. Forrester estimates that the US virtual care market will reach a potential $43 billion in 2021, with upwards of 440 million virtual ambulatory encounters. On the supply side, more than 50% of practicing physicians plan to make virtual care a permanent part of their care models for patients.
  3. Google announced new funding commitments to strengthen healthcare infrastructure and