Infotech Lead India: The real-time telemedicine market in the Asia Pacific region generated revenue of $44.6 million in 2012, while revenue of remote patient monitoring equipment was $773.5 million.
Frost & Sullivan says mhealth was the largest revenue contributor in 2012, with an estimated $7.9 billion generated through voice, text and mobile services in healthcare.
Governments across APAC are and will continue to be the major architects of the telehealth industry in this region.
Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Industry Analyst Natasha Gulati says that government intervention is the single most prominent feature in the industry.
Initiatives range from pilot projects, grants and fund to legislations either promoting or even constructing telehealth. Private ICT infrastructure companies, software vendors, and device manufacturers see their largest opportunity in partnering with government organizations.
Consumer needs, not technological advancements, define telehealth business models.
The telehealth industry in the region is different from US and Europe because the focus lies on providing equitable care to a large population rather than on business profitability and technological advancement. Under these circumstances, private companies are struggling with developing sustainable business models that ensure long-term profitability even if government funding stops.
To establish such business models and penetrate new markets, ICT companies are partnering with medical device manufacturers with the aim of providing holistic telehealth solutions that address a variety of client needs, such as remote care, telemedicine and enterprise mobility.
To target large public and private hospital groups successfully, telehealth companies will have to be able to communicate the value proposition of advanced communications tools and demonstrate significant returns on investment.
Frost & Sullivan recommends that infrastructure, equipment and service providers should invest in developing an ecosystem of telehealth products and solutions which healthcare providers can deploy in totality. This will ensure better ROIs to healthcare providers as well as increase profitability of the vendor.
Telehealth models have the potential to address several challenges faced by the healthcare industry, hence, the notable interest in these technologies by all industry stakeholders.