Telemedicine, increasing medical costs, and drug prices are the key trends that took over the health care sector in 2015, and analysts and experts believe that these will continue to impact the global industry in the coming year as well.
The industry is trying to cope with the increasing burden of medical costs, a recent influx of the newly insured citizen, and several new and innovative technologies for doctors and patients. Established companies as well as startups are anticipated to search for new ways of attracting customers in the next year. On the other hand, patients will also be in the search of ways to better manage their health and their medical expenses.
The PwC Health Research Institute has come up with a list of top health industry issues for the year 2016, focusing on those that are likely to have the most impact next year. Here are some of the major trends that are anticipated to shape the health care sector.
- The 2015 trend of major mergers is projected to continue in the coming year, building on this year’s leading deals such as Pfizer’s US$160 billion offer for Allergan and Anthem’s US$48.4 billion deal for Cigna. Smaller companies will try to compete with larger players by negotiating power. In addition, the emergence of a tech savvy health care sector will result in health systems, insurers, and pharma companies seeking better data analytics.
- Drug pricing has been an important issue for the past decade and this will still be a perennial challenge in 2016. Alternative financing model is one of the ways that pharmaceutical companies can better handle rising expenses by spreading out payments for costly drugs. This will make sure that the companies do not bear the brunt of the entire amount at once.
- Health apps were a rage this year and 2016 will continue the trend of adopting digital health apps to manage care where and when they find it convenient. Apart from fitness trackers, customers will focus on glucose trackers, EKG monitors, and connected pacemakers to name a few.