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Top World Health Trends

4/7/2022
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The health sector has never been as dynamic as it is today. Health awareness is growing daily, encouraging consumers to be healthier and more active to achieve a higher life expectancy. Consumers are also looking for the most efficient and effective personalised therapies developed utilising genomic data collection and other medicinal knowledge and technology. What is more, healthcare services providers and medicinal goods manufacturers are on the verge of evolution. Supply chain transformation, product innovation and the Pharma 4.0 environment are changing the visage of the pharmaceuticals and medical devices industry. Meanwhile, in the form of telehealth and health apps, consumer health technology introduces another channel for preventative health and makes healthcare more convenient and accessible. Finally, all are encircled by the sustainability trend, which seeks to minimise the negative impacts of the healthcare sector on the environment. As the saying goes – a picture is worth a thousand words. So, please find the top five global healthcare trends in the graphs below.

Shifting health behaviours

As lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory conditions and cancer remain among the leading causes of death globally, the wellness movement and shifting consumer health behaviours are at the core of consumer health trends. In 2021, according to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey, nearly 47% of respondents stated they are trying to reduce or stop consuming alcohol (up from 41% in 2019), 39% of respondents said they are planning to consume fewer or stop consuming cigarettes (32% in 2019), while 64% of respondents participate in physical activity at least weekly (59% in 2019). Consumers are also keen on improving their diet, mainly by drinking more water, eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, and reducing sugar consumption.

imagetbec.pngSource: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey, 2021 n=14,173

Healthcare personalisation

Personalised healthcare has become increasingly attractive to consumers globally. More than 52% of respondents in Asia Pacific, 44% in North America and 47% in Europe in 2021 stated that they want products and services uniquely tailored for them. Undoubtedly more effective than traditional medicine, personalised medicine is expected to overwhelm healthcare systems in the medium to long term. The consumer shift from ‘one-size-fits-all’ in health will be driven by the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and personalised medicine’s ability to assess, prevent, detect, diagnose, treat, or manage these more efficiently.

imagef4fbj.pngSource: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey, 2021, n: 40,732

Healthcare manufacturing evolution

Supply chain transformation, product innovation and Pharma 4.0 are changing the face of medicinal goods manufacturing. Governments’ efforts to improve supply chain resilience are driving localisation of the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), finished pharmaceutical products (FPP) and essential medical devices. In addition, high-value innovative treatments, especially in oncology, immunology, diabetes and cardiovascular conditions, are seeing growing demand in parallel with ageing wealthy populations and the increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases. Finally, Pharma 4.0 is rising with Industry 4.0 and integrated manufacturing systems and flexible IT infrastructure. As a result, the pharmaceuticals industry is increasingly increasing its spending on ICT products. For instance, from 2011 to 2021, Chinese pharmaceutical companies increased their spending on ICT goods and services by 112%. So did pharma companies in the UK (by 99% over 2011-2021), Germany (47%) and France (34%).

imagetp9b.png

Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics

New normal of digital healthcare

Digital healthcare comes as a natural complement to the holistic wellness movement. Growing adoption of digital devices and, as a result, higher connectedness, rising consideration of preventative health and self-care, and the overall convenience and immediacy of telehealth appeals to consumers, thus growing the usage of e-commerce and m-commerce products. As a consequence, in 2021, 58% of global consumers felt comfortable using a health app to book an appointment with a healthcare professional (compared with 55% in 2020), 44% were comfortable receiving medical advice online or via an app (40%), and 42% were comfortable consulting with a therapist online or via an app (39%).

imageuj5o.pngSource: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey, 2021 n=14,173

Making healthcare more sustainable

The negative environmental impact of the healthcare sector has been rising through increasing consumption of energy, disposal of toxic chemicals, greenhouse gas emissions, waste and waste water. Yet, with changing consumer perceptions, the sector is striving to become more sustainable. For instance, the medical equipment segment is witnessing a change in the single-use disposable (SUD) model, fast-forwarding to the production of more sustainable, reusable items and increasing usage of reprocessed devices. In addition, utilising greener materials and 3D printing as an alternative to manufacturing are other strategies healthcare is employing to become more sustainable.

imagenfnp.pngSource: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey, 2022

For further analysis on current Consumer trends, take a look here.

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