The healthcare and the medtech sub-sector in the e-commerce segment dominantly consists of companies offering services of online pharmacy, consultation, and diagnostics. With technologies that are helping to make life expectancy even better, the target audience for such companies is widening overtime.
The processes for seeking healthcare and related services have undergone tremendous changes in the last ten years. The increasing use of the internet for getting these services is among these changes. A whole array of these processes has shifted online, and steps from booking appointments to buying medicines and even the actual consultations are being made available online.
According to a report by YoStartups, the healthcare & medtech sub-sector recorded a 14.38% annual increase in the years from 2014 to 2018 and is estimated to grow steadily in the coming years as well.? In this period, 2017 stood out as the year in which startups in the sub-sector received the maximum funding.
Let us look at some of the important startups around the world that are shaping the trend of e-commerce in health and medtech.
New York based startup Care/of is an innovative e-commerce healthcare brand that was established in 2016 by Akash Shah and Craig Elbert. The company offers subscription based services that deliver vitamins to its customers. These deliveries are customized according to the customer?s health and needs. Care/of was set up with an aim to simplify people?s lives by helping them take care of themselves by ensuring adequate intake of all the required nutrients. It offers transparency in the processes like where the supplements are sourced from, what it contains, and other such details so that you know what you are taking into your body.
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Medlife is a rapidly growing app in the Indian healthcare and medtech e-commerce subsector. The mobile application allows its users to complete a host of tasks including ordering medicines, booking lab tests, getting appointments with healthcare providers, and buy other healthcare products. Medlife was co-founded by Tushar Kumar and Prashant Singh in 2014 and is based in Bengaluru, one of India’s top startup hubs. The services are available in more than 40 cities pan India and the app has been downloaded 500,000? times till date.? Medlife is among the pioneer Indian startups to have embraced the convergence of e-commerce and healthcare & medtech sectors.
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The establishment of Babylon Health has made it easier for people to get affordable and accessible healthcare services. The startup is headquartered in London and is the brain child of Ali Parsa who founded it in 2013.? Babylon Health offers a wide range of digital healthcare services and is a leader in the healthcare and medtech e-commerce segment in London.? Babylon Health caters to users in the UK, East Africa, and Ireland currently and has won a number of accolades for its services. It is among the pioneer brands to offer web and telemedicine services. The company made headlines for its innovative new chatbot. The AI service helps analyse user’s health condition based on the presented symptoms and the responses from the users to the questions asked by the chatbots.
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Founded by Shipra Dawar in 2014, ePsyClinic is an innovative digital healthcare service provider that specializes in the mental health. ePsyClinic is an online mental healthcare services platform offers counseling and therapies online through audio, video, and chat. The company was set up with the aim to make mental healthcare more accessible. Patients can consult mental health experts on the ePsyClinic?s app to get customized counseling sessions from wherever they are. This introduction of this service has especially made it easier for those living areas with no mental healthcare facilities find the right resources for the well being of their mind.
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Co-founded by Kai Eberhardt,? Manuel Baumann, and Mark Jenkins in 2014, Oviva is a healthcare services app. The mobile application offers medical nutrition therapy services. The services are targeted at individuals suffering from obesity, diabetes and any kind of food allergies to help them find the right dietetic approach to live a healthier life.? Oviva facilitates interaction between the user and dieticians; and also offers useful features that allow users to keep a record their day to day eating and lifestyle habits. It is based in London and currently offers its services in multiple languages in France, Germany, and the UK.
Know more about this top digital healthcare startup in Europe
Countries with Exceptional Healthcare & Medtech E-commerce Sectors
According to a report by Global Market Insights, the global digital healthcare market is expected to reach $223.7 billion by 2023. This growth will be fuelled by the continuous increase in internet penetration and other factors like business-friendly government initiatives in countries around the world.
When it comes to e-commerce intervention in the healthcare and medtech segments, the top three countries contribute to the growth include the US, the UK, and India. E-tail and marketplace seem to be the trending e-commerce category in all these three countries.
The market for healthcare and medtech e-commerce is characterized mainly by e-tail and marketplace services in the US but also includes companies in the delivery services and payment & fintech solutions segment.? In 2018, the American healthcare and medtech market was valued over $500 million. Companies offering mHealth services are estimated to grow at a rapid rate in the American startup ecosystem.
While there has been an impressive development in the health and medtech e-commerce segment in terms of the number of startups, the same cannot be said about the demand for such services in the UK. The sub-sector was valued at $2 billion in 2014 which accounted for 9% of the global digital healthcare market, according to a report by Deloitte.? The main categories of startups in this sub-sector include telehealthcare, mHealth, health analytics, and digital heath care systems.
The convergence of e-commerce solutions in the healthcare and medtech segment has proved to be a much needed solution for the challenges faced by the Indian healthcare services segment. One of the main challenges is the lack of organization? in the healthcare service systems and networks in many of the developing nations. The introduction of e-commerce solutions has created a revolution making healthcare and related services more accessible and convenient. The overall healthcare market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22% by 2020.
Upcoming Trends in the Healthcare and Medtech E-commerce Sector in 2019
The adoption of e-commerce solutions by healthcare and medtech companies around the world in the last few years has been notable. A number of new innovative startups have also come up as a result of the convergence of e-commerce and healthcare and medtech.? Digital healthcare practices are constantly evolving, and the trends and dynamics keep changing everytime a new technology is introduced.? Let us look at some of the upcoming trends for 2019.
There will be a higher adoption of cloud technology in the healthcare and medtech system. The cloud technology currently being used will get more advanced and smarter in the coming year.
An increasing number of partnerships and acquisition can also be expected as the industry is in a rapidly developing space. Small and big companies will be seen relying on each other’s services and creating new mergers that will help in offering a diverse range of services and in reaching out to a broader audience base.
A higher number of data driven services is forecasted to come into the picture in a framework that offers stronger privacy and data security.
The healthcare and medtech e-commerce sector has a lot of driving factors, the main one being increased internet penetration that has made remote patient monitoring a breeze. However, the industry still needs to overcome several challenges to establish itself strongly as an important sub-sector in the global e-commerce industry.? Some of these top restraints include lack of reliable data, lack of data security, and the lack of digital and healthcare infrastructure in various countries.