Medical gadgets that are worn on the body
We are already witnessing a large number of people in Asia with pre-existing diseases, particularly the elderly, being fitted with wearable medical equipment in the present day. Patients with diabetes, for example, are fitted with continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), which are small, wearable devices that allow for the continuous monitoring of a patient’s blood glucose levels throughout time. All of this information can be simply transferred to a patient’s smartphone or smartwatch, where it can be shared with medical experts or the patient’s primary caregiver.
The market for medical wearable devices, which are equipped with microchips and sensors, is expected to reach US$61.4 billion in the next five years, according to estimates. Asia Pacific is estimated to account for roughly US$3.2 billion of the market share, with large contributions from China, India, and Japan. The United States will account for around US$3.2 billion of the market share. Despite the fact that the amount appears little, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) indicates a 25.52 percent increase from 2020, demonstrating tremendous development in the Asian market. Worldwide, an industry-wide 10-year forecast (2018–2027) predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8 percent, with North America accounting for a significant portion of the growth in this sector.
However, it is expected that these figures will continue to rise, particularly because the digital healthcare industry in the Asia Pacific region, including both established and developing countries, has experienced exponential development as a result of the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus.
As a means of limiting the spread of the pandemic, many Asian countries have also turned to telemedicine for assistance. Patients can receive medical assistance from doctors via video chats using mobile programs such as Dr. World, Doctor Anywhere, Halodoc, and others, which have gained popularity across the region as a result of their availability. It should be noted that this is not a new phenomenon, since telemedicine has gained pace in recent years, and COVID-19 has contributed to the development of this trend.
According to a report published in 2018, Halodoc, an Indonesian telemedicine application, was receiving “several thousand consultations each day” and had 2 million users. Because of the pandemic, they now have more than 7.2 million subscribers and have seen a 300 percent spike in the number of mobile application downloads since the beginning of the year. An increase of 50% in the number of people who use Alodoktor, another telemedicine program, has been observed as well.
In order to alleviate the bottleneck that its virtual doors were experiencing as a result of the pandemic and the Indonesian government’s recommendation that citizens avoid going to hospitals unless they are in an emergency, the team at Halodoc created a COVID-19 section that included the use of an artificial intelligence chatbot to assist patients who were concerned about COVID-19 infection. Indonesians were able to acquire the information they required instantaneously, without having to wait for a doctor to attend to them, allowing doctors to devote their time to more critical cases as a result of this technology.
In addition to Indonesia and its neighboring countries, telemedicine is becoming increasingly popular in developing countries throughout Asia, including Vietnam, Thailand, and other countries. Some of these countries, such as Vietnam, may be new to the notion, but they have had an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from their citizens, demonstrating the enormous potential of this largely unexplored market.