We recently wrote about digital health being on an accelerated growth path. Modern technologies are empowering both health care professionals and patients to offer and receive timely and advanced medical care. However, regulations on internet and stringent approval protocol for tools/systems pose challenges for the industry, especially when it comes to the pace of digitalisation. Mobile/smartphones and wearables are an integral part of digital health. Mobile enables easy access to information and advice. Wearables play a key role in early detection through the regular monitoring of users’ health statistics. Global Mobile health market in 2017 was approximately $24.2billion and the number of wearables will hit 34million by 2022 (Statista). Recoginising the benefits of mobile/wearables, regulatory agencies and institutions are adapting their compliance rules, to better suit the digital health industry. There is a consensus among experts that health industry stands to benefit from adoption of AI and Blockchain. AI finds its role in diagnosis and in even patient management using interfaces that integrate chatbots/voice assistants with AI. Systems backed by blockchain can streamline processes between key stakeholders, like the insurance approval process.
Middle East and especially GCC markets are technology savvy and a PwC survey revealed 60% of the respondents from UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are willing to engage with AI/robotics for their healthcare needs. And almost half of the respondents are comfortable with a robot instead of a doctor performing minor/non-invasive surgeries. However when it comes to advanced diagnostics or major surgeries, not surprisingly, comfort level with un-manned technologies is minimal. Many startups in UAE are keen to take advantage of this market readiness.
For more information on trends shaping digital health industry, please refer to the below links: