On-Demand Healthcare is on the Rise in Europe and Middle-East
The year 2020 will always be synonymous with two words: pandemic and panic. The governments worldwide are taking massive action to limit social interaction to stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID 19) through the implementation of lockdowns and social distancing. This pandemic is filling people with a mild sense of panic and a looming sense of dread. With this new reality of self-isolation and social distancing, there is only one place where people can turn to for mental help, physical health concerns and most importantly reassurance from a verified source like a certified doctor: Telemedicine and on-demand healthcare services.
Rise of On-Demand Health Care in the Wake of COVID-19
One silver lining of this pandemic is that it has highlighted the things that are most important in life and that is health. Healthcare is an essential segment where immediate delivery of medical treatment can work wonders for a society where health is the only concern at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Even if it’s not corona there are still plenty of asthmatics, diabetics and discoverers of harmful skin diseases and rashes who need prescriptions. In the current situation, the remote/virtual telemedicine and on-demand healthcare services are becoming the “new normal”.
For entrepreneurs, while having an innovative idea is the first step towards a successful start-up, the most important aspect of success is the window of opportunity. 2020 is the make-or-break opportunity for telehealth start-ups.
Those healthcare start-ups that had been slowly scaling are suddenly at a point of hyper-growth and business owners all over the world have come to a stark realization; that they can make a huge and immediate impact with long-lasting results if only they could just seize the opportunity that coronavirus has presented them with.
Telehealth/eHealth and Telemedical Consultation is the New Normal
The time when healthcare was an in-person, in-office experience has given way to on-demand health care applications and virtual health care services. During the coronavirus pandemic, more and more people are availing digital health care technologies for the provision of their health demands. People are already of the mindset that like every other service nowadays, a hospital is not the de facto for receiving medical care anymore.
Long viewed as a viable possibility, telemedicine has now become an active reality especially in UAE and other middle eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman as the countries work to limit the coronavirus outbreak.
stablished countries like the Netherlands, Austria, and the UK are also seeing healthy competition between telehealth providers and are attracting additional start-ups into their market.
- Netherlands Telemedicine market is expected to increase at a double-digit CAGR in 2020.
- The demand for Top Doctors in Italy, Spain and the UK has multiplied by 30.
- Before the virus, video appointments made only 1% of the 340 million annual visits to primary care doctors in Britain’s National Health Service. However, in a single month of 2020 thousands of clinics across the country have shifted to remote consultation.
- Per Day an average of 20,000 video consultations are being offered by doctors through on-demand applications.
- A study carried out by McKinsey and Company in March revealed that one in three patients cancelled in-office medical appointments in fear of the coronavirus.
- According to STAT a medical news site, a telemedicine session costs less than €50 which is much more affordable than a €2000 emergency room visit.
- According to Gulf News, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has completed more than 10,700 virtual consultations since March 2020.
- Hamad Medical Cooperation at Qatar is currently caring for over 3000 patients through their innovative telemedical services with more than 27,000 telephone consultations each week.
- According to a UAE Telehealth report, 78% of the patients were happy to move away from their existing habits and use video consultation and this was before the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Technavio reveals that the global online doctor consultation market is expected to grow by 3.80 billion during 2020-2024.
These stats clearly show that in a matter of days, a revolution in telemedicine has arrived at the doorsteps of primary care doctors in Europe and the Middle East.
Moreover, this is not only the case in EMEA regions; according to a recent Wall Street Journal report, the healthcare Ascension with facilities in 20 states in the US says that its online healthcare system increased 2000%, to about 10,000 visits in March 2020.
Telehealth and On-Demand Health Applications are Here to Stay
The unprecedented Coronavirus outbreak has turned into a boon for telehealth, skyrocketing app downloads, usage and stock prices for many companies. Both the CDC and WHO are advocating for telemedicine to monitor patients and reduce risks of them spreading the virus by traveling to hospitals.
In today’s “Nosophobic” society, the Telehealth apps are using this opportunity by using telemedicine technology like remote monitoring, contact tracing, digital mental health services and instant diagnosis through video streaming to connect patients and healthcare providers..
- Doctor on Demand based in San Francisco experienced a 50% rise in virtual visits in March 2020.
- Push Doctor, a telemedicine company based in the UK reported a 70% increase in weakly orders since the outbreak.
- Since the virus hit the US the application usage of Amwell has increased by 159%.
- PlushCare reported that revenues have been increasing by 70% with an increase in doctors being hired to meet the growing on-demand.
- Teladoc health reports seeing Daily Virtual Visits up 50% during the COVID 19 outbreak.
- MDLIVE reported that in addition to a surge in virtual visit volume, new individual user registrations have increased to approximately 20,000 per day since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The above figures reveal that the Telemedical and on-demand healthcare services have a certain and irrevocable future sustainability in society. Before the lockdown, even though telemedicine was fairly being used but most people could not fathom a doctor’s appointment without meeting a live doctor.
However now that people have tasted the ease and efficiency of virtual meetings with affordable prices and on their own schedules, they will not turn back from this luxury to the hassle of driving a car all the way to the doctor’s office.
On-demand Healthcare Business Model
Following the lead of Doctor on Demand, MDlive, HealthTap and many other telehealth platforms, more and more healthcare businesses are rapidly acquiring the on-demand business model. Rapidly evolving technology, disruptive innovation and virtual platforms are revolutionizing the healthcare system.
The only way to compete in the healthcare market is to adopt new business models with a sustainable operating strategy. Following are the most notable business models:
Doctor on-demand App
A health care technology that connects patients with nearby doctors through application and live video appointments. It provides virtual visits with broad-certified physicians, psychologists and consultants. This saves the patient a preliminary visit to the doctor’s office.
Except for those patients who require the use of medical equipment like a CT scan, most patients can get diagnosed and prescribed on these virtual appointments on the Doctor on-demand app.
Telemedicine technology enables healthcare professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients using telecommunication technology. A comprehensive telemedicine technology can bridge the gap between the disparity distribution of doctors and the healthcare infrastructure.
These applications consist of a physician and a patient module for effective schedule management and making the doctor-patient communication smooth.
EMS and Ambulance On-demand Apps
The features of ambulance dispatch software may vary widely depending upon the scope of the business but every dispatch software system consists of three distinct modules.
An app module for the end-users to avail the ambulance dispatch service. An app module for the Ambulance Driver to calculate the shortest route to the patient’s destination. An Admin Panel for the overall management and surveillance of the ambulance and the patient’s condition.
Nurse on-demand App
An app that helps patients find nurses. Users send their requests as per their specific requirements along with patient details and these would be matched to the skills provided by the nurses through the on-demand app.
Hospitals and Nursing homes are always in quest of nurses and healthcare professionals. This app is the perfect solution to bridge the gap.
Customized modules provide the perfect solution
All the above business models employ essentially four distinct modules. Although the focal points of different stakeholders may overlap but the distinctions demand the need for separate modules.
An intuitive and interactive patient module is essential to house the patient’s profile and their medical history. Through this module, the patients can conveniently schedule appointments, retrieve their medical history and even choose their doctors. This module is focused on the customer with ease of use and simplicity in mind.
Doctors also require a profile which can be viewed by the patients. This profile features the qualification of the doctor and their area of specialization. It provides an effective management system of keeping track of all the appointments, the patient’s previous checkups and the prior prescriptions.
It allows the doctors to reschedule appointments with their patients. The module has features to receive notifications of new appointments, patient messages and the messages from the admin panel.
The admin panel manages the overall operation and keeps surveillance on the doctor-patient interaction. It provides interactive dashboards and handles the payment verification system. It provides patient verification and allows the staff to resolve any complaints from the customer’s end.
For integrating more business-oriented features, admin panel may include data analysis tools for displaying the performance of the on-call doctors and physicians.
A separate service provider panel for companies that incorporates geofence, Automated reminders, Task Monitoring and Payment management.
Get started with your own on-demand healthcare app
The need for on-demand health care has never been greater and the trend isn’t going away anytime soon. Here at ODTap solutions, we believe in keeping ahead of all the trends and providing clients with a perfect strategy to rise to the top in the competing market.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created wide gaps between the consumer demand and the industrial health services. In such times an on-demand mobile application that can bridge this gap can tantamount to a light in the dark for the consumers.
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