International Markets – Dec 2017

International Markets

Australia

  • Researchers at Griffith University in Australia collaborate with Huawei and Tonwo Health Clinic Technology to develop wearable devices that will help patients manage chronic conditions. The five health wearables ready for mass production, cover everything from blood glucose levels to body fat and blood pressure. These NB-IoT (narrowband internet) real-time medical devices are first in the world to be mass produced. (Internet of Business)
  • The Australian government announces a new reform blueprint that would overhaul the health system to focus on service ­delivery at a more local level, and all government-funded providers will be forced to report on patient outcomes to enable greater transparency.
    • Performance reporting and data collection would be made consistent and improved, with the same measures applying to public and private, hospital and primary care. This would not only allow governments to pay for performance but for consumers to make informed choices about treatment and provider options
    • The blueprint will also address a new national workforce strategy to alleviate an oversupply of doctors in some areas. (The Australian)
  • According to a report published by the Senate committee in Australia, there is a dramatic increase in the number of policies with exclusions or co-payments from 7% in June 2007 to 40% in 2017. New recommendations made the by committee require private health insurers to publish all rebates by policy and item number, and the health department to publish the fees of individual surgeons in a searchable database. (The Guardian)
  • Researchers from the University of Melbourne identify individuals in government healthcare data that was supposed to be anonymous, potentially exposing the private information of people receiving mental health treatment or HIV medication. According to a new report, the Melbourne team can identify individual patients using the type of information people might share on Facebook: gender, birth year, state and health events. They claim to possibly identify seven famous Australians within the same dataset, without figuring out their patient ID numbers. The project to move government healthcare data to open data has been halted. (ABC News)

China

  • A group of researchers at Harvard University design a system, called APPROACH, for Analysis of Provider Payment Reforms on Advancing China's Health, that aligns financial incentives for physicians and hospitals with key measures of performance, hoping to improve health care for millions of patients in some of China's poorest regions. The plan is currently being implemented at 50 hospitals in 28 counties, and is part of a broader effort to improve care at different levels of the nation's health care system.
    • The effort follows on the Chinese government's 2009 health care overhaul, which more than tripled spending and implemented an insurance system aimed at ensuring access for 1.2 billion people. (BioSpectrum Asia)

  • President Xi Jinping urges the country to accelerate implementation of big data strategy to better serve social and economic development and improve people's lives. The country will build high-speed, mobile, ubiquitous and safe information infrastructure, integrate government and social data resources, and improve the collection of fundamental information and important information resources in key areas. He urges solving problems using big data in areas such as education, employment, social security, medicine and the healthcare system, housing and transportation. (Xinhuanet)
  • According to a health management summit recently held in Beijing, China's healthcare market is expected to hit 4.9 trillion RMB (USD 748 billion) in 2017. The figure is far from the goal set by the Healthy China 2030 strategy, which estimates the market value to increase to 16 trillion RMB by 2030. Statistics reveal the industry currently makes up less than 5% of China's GDP, and challenges still exist given the contradiction between the limited supply of healthcare services and growing demand. (Ecns.in)
  • China’s educated middle classes and high-net-worth and UHNW (ultra high-net-worth) individuals begin increasingly to rely on private providers of medical coverage and healthcare and nursing home specialists to fill the gap between what they expect, and what the state system can provide. By 2020, according to McKinsey, the value of China’s healthcare market is expected to reach USD 1 trillion, and by 2030, USD 2.3 trillion. Rather than restricting the private provision of such services, China has actively encouraged it, most recently by announcing that it would permit foreign firms to be allowed to hold a majority stake in joint ventures with mainland Chinese life insurance companies and securities companies.
    • While experts on the ground caution that the Chinese market is fraught with challenges for outside providers, the names of the companies setting up shop there is growing by the day, often including major international healthcare, elder-care and health insurance providers, such as Fullerton Healthcare Corp., AXA, Allianz Partners, and Aetna International. (International Investment)

The U.K

  • According to data from Catalyst Corporate Finance, an investment advisory group, 2017 has seen M&A and investment activity in the UK Healthcare sector remain high. Over the course of the year to December, there have been 263 deals compared to 302 in 2016. Healthcare Services has seen 139 deals compared to 136 in 2016; Pharma 70 compared to 95; and Med Tech 54 compared to 71. some of the significant deals include:
    • Elysium Healthcare’s acquisition of Raphael Healthcare
    • Apposite Capital investing in Swanton Care
    • Schoen Klinik Acquisition of UK speciality clinic for Eating Disorders
    • Graphite Capital backed the MBO of pharmaceutical services provider Random 42
    • Push Doctor raises circa £20 million for expansion (EPM Magazine)
  • According to the General Medical Council, the UK's medical profession is at a "crunch point", facing the prospect of too few doctors to treat rising numbers of patients. Since 2012, number of doctors on the medical register had grown by 2% at a time when there have been a 27% increase in Accident and Emergency (A&E) attendances in England and a 10% increase in Northern Ireland. By 2041, the growth in the population of those aged 85 and over - often the neediest in medical terms - is projected to double from 1.6 million to 3.2 million. Four key areas of concern include:
    • Supply of new doctors into the UK has not kept up with demand
    • A dependence on non-UK qualified doctors in some specialist areas
    • The risk of some overseas doctors being put off working in the UK after Brexit
    • An ongoing strain on doctors in training (BBC)

Japan

  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announces his government would fund healthcare programs in developing countries seeking to provide universal health care coverage. Japan pledges to contribute USD 2.9 billion to programs that push for battling infectious diseases and treatments for children, beginning with 28 target countries listed by the Universal Health Coverage Partnership. (Futurism)
  • A team of Japanese researchers develops a new approach for detecting cancer biomarkers in urine. Using a device constructed of nanowires, the scientists were able to net over a thousand types of microRNAs, which they then transferred to a commercial microarray platform for analysis. Given the high yield of miRNA markers they were able to isolate, the researchers believe the approach could be commercialized and introduced into routine cancer testing. The nanowire device and methods were described in a new paper published in Science this month.
    • Yasui ( a researcher) developed the new device together with colleagues at Japan's Science and Technology Agency, National Cancer Center Research Institute, and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Researchers at Kyushu University and Osaka University in Japan, King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang in Bangkok, Thailand, and Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan also participated. (Genome Web)

Technology Briefs

IDC

  • In 2018, worldwide spending on digital transformation (DX) technologies will touch USD 1.3 trillion, an increase of 16.8% over the USD 1.1 trillion spent in 2017. By 2021, DX spending will nearly double to more than USD 2.1 trillion.
    • The majority of DX spending in 2018 ($662 billion) will go toward technologies that support new or expanded operating models
    • The second largest DX investment area in 2018 ($326 billion) will be technologies supporting omni-experience innovations
    • Information will also be an important DX investment area ($240 billion in 2018)
    • The industries that will see the fastest DX spending growth over the five-year forecast are construction (32.1% CAGR), retail (21.9% CAGR), and healthcare provider (21.7% CAGR) (IDC)
  • The healthcare providers across the world will spend a total of USD 8.9 billion in adopting industry cloud solutions during 2017. This industry is expected to increase spending by 20% year over year in 2018 on industry cloud solutions; by 2021, the same industry will spend USD 17.6 billion on industry cloud. (IDC)

Frost & Sullivan

  • The global market for healthcare cloud computing -- revenue generated by cloud computing services offered to providers -- will grow to worth almost USD 10 billion by 2021. Growth is driven by:
    • The need to store the exponentially increasing volume of healthcare data
    • Demand to use health data to improve system efficiency, deliver value-based care and enable productive collaborations
    • Changing attitude of healthcare providers' toward cloud solutions with key decision makers now convinced that cloud environments are more secure than on-premise infrastructure (Communications Today)
  • By 2025, 10 percent of hospitals across the globe will become or will have started implementations to become smart hospitals. The total market opportunity is expected to approximate USD 11 billion, with the data analytics market for smart hospitals reaching revenues of $5.9 billion in 2018; the cloud computing market is expected to hit revenues of USD 5.1 billion. Four key segments that project significant market growth and billions of dollars in revenues include:
    • Pharmacy automation
    • Mobile asset tracking
    • Data analytics
    • Cloud computing (PR Newswire)
  • By 2030, multiple applications of CRISPR genome editing technology can generate almost USD 25 billion in revenue. Key trends in the global CRISPR tool market include:
    • A large number of partnerships and licensing activities with mid-sized and big companies looking to acquire their smaller counterparts
    • Strong focus on therapeutics development with large pharmaceutical companies showing interest in using CRISPR for therapeutics development, drug discovery, and other research activities
    • Gene-edited agriculture products gaining popularity
    • Favorable regulatory environment in both the drug discovery and agriculture biotechnology segments supporting market growth and new investments (Frost and Sullivan)
  • Shortage of pathologists and the rise in new cancer cases are the key drivers for the adoption of digital pathology solutions globally.
    • High cost of digital pathology solutions has been one of the key market growth restraints, especially in the small-to-mid-sized laboratory segment
    • New business models and partnerships among vendors will change the situation for better and drive market growth (Frost and Sullivan)
  • During 2018, the global healthcare industry will register a stable growth rate and will cross the USD 1.85 trillion mark in terms of manufacturers’ revenues, despite ongoing political uncertainties and rising cost pressures. Digital health investments crossed $6.5 billion in 2017, up 109% from the previous year. Key drivers of growth include:
    • Innovation around care quality, outcomes, and chronic disease management
    • High growth opportunities in emerging markets
    • Top predictions include:

    • Service-as-product solutions to become the powerful tool to achieve competitive advantage in healthcare
    • Cloud emerges as core platform across multiple sectors as healthcare stakeholders demand cost efficiency
    • Big tech companies will see high rewards from their investments
    • Virtual and remote clinical trials adoption increases to shift focus on efficiency and patient-centricity
    • Robotics for surgery and care assistance within hospitals attains high penetration
    • Asia-Pacific countries take the lead on smart hospital projects
    • Despite increased investments by healthcare stakeholders, cyberattacks on healthcare industry will double
    • Incentive-based wellness programs gain popularity
    • AI to go mainstream for imaging diagnostics segment
    • Blockchain move from hype to real as initial established use case generates ROI (Forbes)

Competitor Activities

GE

  • CGE Healthcare, a subsidiary of General Electric, bets big on the rapid growth of China’s healthcare market. The company’s Biotechnology Park, located in Guangzhou, is on track for trial operations next year. The medical centre will adopt new models to establish a biotechnology ecology system, covering research, clinical trails and production. (Asia Times)
  • GE Healthcare to acquire Puridify, a UK-based bioprocessing start-up developing technology to aid the production of new medicines. Puridify was formed in 2013 as a spin-out from University College London, and is working on a nanofibre-based platform purification technology for biopharmaceutical production. Following the completion of the deal, GE Healthcare will invest further to bring Puridify's platform to commercialisation, while fully integrating the solution within its existing range of bioprocess purification products. (Zenopa)
  • DiA Imaging Analysis of Beersheva, a medical imaging analysis software company, signs a multi-year, non-exclusive licensing and professional services agreement with GE Healthcare to develop automated imaging analysis technology that will work with GE Healthcare’s ultrasound devices. (The Tower)