How new technologies are changing the medical services market in Central and Eastern Europe
These changes are primarily a great opportunity for the countries of our region to catch up to the more developed countries of Western Europe. The technology allows for moving away from investing in expensive infrastructure, in favor of more efficient and cheaper telemedicine.
The value of private medical services market in CEE countries is estimated at EUR 13.9 billion. Some of the factors affecting the value of the market are: population size, the level of development of private service providers, and the level and availability of services financed by the public purse.
The study conducted for the purposes of the PwC report reveals that already nearly 60% of patients from the CEE region are willing to use telemedicine. The services with the greatest potential include: teleconsultations, telemonitoring, telediagnostics and telerehabilitation.
Patients are increasingly more aware of the diseases and conditions that affect them. The internet and new technologies provide access to knowledge that was previously available only to doctors specialising in a given field.
Under pre-paid medical services, patients seek medical advice on average 3.6 times a year, which is about 20% more frequently than 2–3 years ago. This has a significant influence on the profitability of the whole segment of pre-paid medical services and insurances.
They want to visit a specialist from a given field, one that they have chosen themselves, who is well-known and respected by other patients. The importance of doctor assessment systems is increasing. Small medical practices that are able to offer the patient an individualised approach and continuity of care provided by the same doctor throughout the whole treatment are an attractive alternative.
Of the patients with pre-paid medical services or insurance, 30% buy additional medical services, of which only 35% decide to go to the service provider for which they have bought the pre-paid medical services or insurance, while 65% of patients choose a totally different clinic or a different doctor.
An important element is no longer the cost only, but also the range of available services, the length of time spent waiting for a visit, and the convenience and proximity of health centres. Increasingly often, patients book an appointment with a doctor by phone or on the internet, instead of going to a centre personally, as was the custom a few years ago.
Next generation healthcare will increasingly use more technological innovations, such as mobile devices, dedicated applications, teleconsultations, and even artificial intelligence or data mining tools. More and more services will be provided remotely at the patient’s home or at service points, even in places like the pharmacy, drugstore, or modern trading points.
Partner, Leader of CEE Healthcare and Pharma
Deputy Director, Head of CEE Healthcare Advisory