Digital Health – A Booming Global Opportunity for the Future of Healthcare

A Revolution In Healthcare

The global health industry is about to embark on a period of extraordinary innovation, technological advancements and market growth. With digital technology affecting all segments of the economy, investor and media attention has focused in recent years on the disruptive effect of new technologies on healthcare and wellness. This trend has given rise to the term Digital Health (DH), namely the convergence of innovation in digital technologies applied to health and medicine-related applications.

The scope of DH includes the categories of mobile health apps (mHealth), health information technology (IT), health analytics, tele-health and tele-care, and digitised/personalised health systems: [1][2]


Source: Deloitte.

Healthcare organisations both private and public are using DH in efforts to increase efficiency, improve diagnostic capabilities and personalise medicine for patients. Sector practitioners are welcoming technological developments, with a February 2017 PwC survey showing 85% of clinicians willing to use data from apps and wearables for treatments.[3]

At the same time, patients are increasingly taking their health into their own hands, collecting medical data via phone apps and wearables. The number of health app downloads reached 3.2 billion in 2016, compared to only 1.7 billion in 2013.[4] At least one form of DH technology has been adopted by 80% of American consumers.[5]

Recent advances in genomics and DNA mapping are making it possible to identify and prevent pathologies based on genetics, in addition to editing and even synthesising ex nihilo DNA sequences.[6] This is opening up the opportunity of increasing life expectancy, slowing ageing and  improve quality of life via preventive treatments.[7][8] In addition, an increasing number of scientific studies have indicated that lifetime health is linked for 60% to environmental/behavioural issues, 30% to genetics and only 10% to healthcare.[9] Nutrition and lifestyle, combined with an understanding of genetic makeup, are increasingly becoming the priority of medical professionals, healthcare corporations and governments worldwide.[10]


Digital Health – Powered By Long-Term Trends

A combination of factors are contributing to give rise to a multi-decade trend in digital healthcare, namely:

  • Demographics – The world is rapidly ageing. The median age of the world’s population has increased from 23.6 years in 1950 to 26.4 in 2000 to 30.1 currently. Between 2015 and 2030, the number of people in the world aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 56%, from 901 MLN to 1.4 BLN.[11] The over-60 population segment is the fastest-growing one globally.[12]
  • Technological Penetration – Older generations are increasingly tech-savvy. In the USA the share of people aged 65+ who own smartphones has risen from 18% in 2013 to 42% in 2017.[13] In the UK, the over-55 age group is the fastest-growing age group in terms of internet usage.[14]
  • Increasing Health Expectations – The global population is becoming increasingly health conscious. Nielsen’s 2015 Global Health and Wellness Report revealed that 50% of people are trying to lose weight, with 72% doing physical exercise and 75% changing their diet.[15] In the UK, over 80% of consumers claimed to follow a healthy diet in 2015, compared to 70% in 2004.
  • Government Incentives – Governments in the developed world are under financial pressure to contain healthcare spending due to large public debts. Accenture estimates that DH solutions could result in up to $50 BLN in savings for the US government healthcare sector in 2018 alone.[16]
  • Emerging Market Growth – Emerging markets are ageing and accumulating wealth faster than any other global region. Emerging markets will account for 80% of the world’s elderly by 2050, while healthcare spending is expected to grow at a 9% annual rate in 2015-2020.[17][18] At the same time, the incidence of many pathologies and other health-related issues is increasing. In the Philippines, for example, diabetes prevalence is expected to grow from 3.2% in 2012 to 8.5% in 2030.[19]


A Future Of Global Growth

Growth projections for the global digital health market remain strong. From a value of $79 BLN in 2015 it is expected to expand 161% to reach $206 BLN by 2020:[20]


Source: Statista.

The Mobile Health segment will be the fastest growing segment, expanding by 41% annually in 2015-2020. In the UK alone, the digital health market will grow from £2 BLN in 2014 to £2.9 BLN by 2018, predominantly driven by mHealth apps.[21]

In addition to digital health, other health-related segments are expected to experience significant growth. The global wellness economy includes sectors such as beauty/spa treatments, health tourism, fitness, nutrition and alternative medicine. These sectors combined have grown at an average of more than 11% p.a., from $1.9 TLN in 2009 to more than $3.7 TLN in 2015.[22]


Digital Health Funding Breaks New Records

The progress and innovation of the digital health sector have not gone unnoticed by venture capital funds and healthcare/pharmaceutical companies. In the first half of 2017, $3.5 BLN was invested in 188 digital health companies.[23] This compares to $4.2 BLN and 304 companies for 2016 as a whole, turning 2017 into a record funding year:[24]


Source: Rock Health Inc.

The bulk of the funding is being raised at the seed stage, which took 42% of the total in 2016:[25]


Source: CB Insights.

The growth has been exponential: the 2016 funding figure is an almost 8-fold increase over the $537 MLN raised in 2009.[26]


Suisse Life Science Group – Leading The Digital Health Revolution

Suisse Life Science Group (SLSG) is at the forefront of innovation in personal healthcare, life sciences and digital technology for age prevention. Our research efforts have been entirely dedicated to research the genetic drivers of ageing and provide biologically-active treatments personalised to the user’s DNA, lifestyle and physical condition.

The result of SLSG’s research is My iDDNA®, the world’s only mobile-based technology that customises lifestyle changes in real time based on multiple factors, including:

  • Pollution
  • UV exposure
  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • Stress level
  • Sleep quality time

My iDDNA® users benefit from the Know Your DNA service, which through meticulous genome-mapping provides tailor-made anti-aging treatments via phone app and on demand.

SLSG is now forging strategic global agreements to license its patented technology for:

  • Medical and government healthcare organisations to provide real-time patient lifestyle management
  • Premium skincare brands to enhance and improve skincare products and customer experience
  • DNA-testing companies to integrate personalised healthcare solutions
  • Health insurers to reduce chronic disease and incentivise active prevention in their client base

SLSG has positioned itself to benefit from the fast growth of a multi-trillion dollar global sector in the coming years.

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