26 November 2015
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Telehealth in Australia

Telehealth will take centre stage in Australia’s Healthcare System says Frost & Sullivan.

The total global healthcare industry is expected to grow at a rate of nearly 7% over 2015-2016. Latin America has the highest projected growth at 12.7%, and Asia, (excluding Japan), is second with growth projected at 11.5%.

Australia continues to face increased healthcare expenditure. In 2013-2014, total government funded healthcare was nearly 68%. Federal government healthcare expenditure declined from 43.5% in 2008-2009 to 41.2% in 2013-2014. In real terms, out of pocket expenditure increased by 6.2% from
2012-2013 to 2013-2014. Public hospital services accounted for 29.6% of total health expenditure, followed closely by primary healthcare spending.

Australia’s complex funding system with multiple sources of funding, such as, national insurance, private insurance and government and state funds that cover fragments of the care continuum have created redundancies and inefficiencies in the system. In a recent research, the State of Victoria highlighted the need for a complete overhaul of the insurance system.

Australia’s aging population is growing faster than the young and working age population. 63% of adult Australians are either overweight or obese and 1.1 million live with diabetes. 15% of all deaths in Australia stem from coronary heart disease, followed closely by cerebrovascular disease. Supporting an aging population and managing chronic diseases more efficiently are Australia’s most urgent needs; and combined with escalating costs, is a compelling case for convergence in the healthcare sector, said Maz Khan, Industry Director, Australia & New Zealand, Transformational Health, Frost & Sullivan.

Tapping into their low-cost development potential, an increasing number of healthcare products will be created in emerging markets and subsequently introduced into developed countries. These changing paradigms of product development and geographic rollouts are to mitigate the growing burden of healthcare costs of these regions.

Systemic inefficiencies are keen driving factors for technology in healthcare. Avoidable in-patient visits and readmissions can be reduced through effective monitoring and long-term management. This requires regular data capture, analysis and interpretation in a manner that the patient can take action based on the results. Telehealth can help improve healthcare access in remote and rural areas where 10.7% of the population struggle with limited healthcare-provider density because infrastructure development is lacking and physicians prefer to work in urban centres.

Advanced medical technology companies are looking for a creative platform that enables them to provide solutions along the continuum of care, adapting to the ‘owning the disease’ approach by migrating from an intervention focused business model to convergent care. Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers are seeking means to improve patient interaction and engagement with their products to improve patient adherence, and ultimately, improve outcomes.

Connected Health

Australia’s Healthcare IT (HCIT) market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.1% from 2015 to 2019, impelled by increasing investments seen in cloud and mobility, an industry-wide call for interoperability and the increasing need for compliance, transparency and performance bench marking.

The telemedicine market in Australia and New Zealand is expected to record a CAGR of 43.5% from 2015 to 2019. The telemedicine market in Australia has been bolstered by government incentives in the past and is now moving towards integrated platforms and hardware-independent, vendor neutral

Although a fragmented market targeted towards consumers, and with little participation from hesitant healthcare providers, Australia’s mobile health market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 57.1%, but needs to move towards an integrated solution based approach in order to provide holistic care.

“Australia has achieved some significant milestones in HCIT. The transition from the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) to the My eHealth Record involves an AUD485 million rescue package to revamp the national EHR and make it more patient centric. This includes trialing an opt-out model. St. Stephen’s at Hervey Bay, operated by UnitingCare Health is Australia’s first digital hospital. The AUD96 million dollar facility leverages completely digital systems, including EMRs, patient management systems and drug dispensing” stated Khan.

One key goal of the My eHealth Record is to improve patient engagement. This will involve integrating electronic medical records for oneself and those under one’s care across multiple care settings into a single platform, enabling patient action and ownership over health data and facilitating seamless and reliable information capture from devices, apps and wearables as well as provide regulations and guidelines that allow safe, secure and meaningful use of patient data, including health data.

To provide a more patient centric approach in healthcare delivery, a high level of patient engagement on the continuum of care is required. Telehealth platforms that enhance patients’ involvement in wellness and disease management will eventually take centre-stage in Australia. Consumers will be expected to play a major role in healthcare delivery; no longer simply passive recipients of care, they will be actively involved in decision making, and the first step in this direction would be giving patients data ownership and encouraging them to manage their own health information.

With increasing emphasis on community care and rehabilitative services, better care coordination, especially to support an aging population, will be a critical need. This will entail moving beyond the EHR to provide a vendor-neutral platform to collect comprehensive patient data on a regular basis – so vendors will have to move beyond the EMR and expand their value proposition to beyond hospital care.

In spite of the aggressive industry push and government mandates to improve interoperability, smooth, comprehensive and efficient information exchange continues to be a challenge globally. Software and devices from different vendors often don’t communicate and healthcare providers need to use
multiple channels and interfaces as well as spend heavily on IT in order to access complete information. Data exchange between hospitals continues to be chaotic even in a country like the US where an estimated 75% of hospitals exchange data with other health institutions.

This situation will be further exacerbated in the next 5 years as the industry goes through the following transformation:

• New industry stakeholders like academic researchers, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, insurance organisations, care coordinators, pharmacists and patients start playing a more active role in care delivery and thus, need access to health information.
• New sources of health information emerge, such as, mobile apps, wearables, social media platforms, patient portals and connected devices creating an Internet of Things in healthcare, all of which generate both structured and unstructured data that can be rich in content and value.
• New and innovative ways to use health information for advancing research and improving clinical outcomes are discovered that rely on information technology (IT) tools like Big Data, Advanced Visualisation and Analytics that have the power to make sense out of unrelated, diverse data sets.

Khan concluded, “Today, in healthcare individuals are often segmented into broad demographic caterogisations. This one-size-fits-all approach leads to initiatives that have low compliance, and often fail to achieve desired outcomes. By creating a more comprehensive profile of individual patients, healthcare stakeholders are discovering new ways to engage and truly impact healthy results.”

2015 GIL Australia congress, 3rd December, 2015

Maz Khan will be presenting these insights, ‘Telehealth, How It’s Transforming Healthcare Delivery’ at the 2015 GIL Australia congress (http://ww2.frost.com/event/calendar/gil-australia-2015) to be held at the Hilton Hotel Sydney, Australia on 3rd December 2015. To enquire or register, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly with your full name, designation and company details.

Globally Frost & Sullivan conducts the Growth, Innovation & Leadership Congress (GIL) across more than 15 countries. More information about our global community is found here: http://gil-events.gilcommunity.com

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies? Contact us: Start the discussion


Donna Jeremiah
Corporate Communications – Asia Pacific
P: +61 (02) 8247 8927
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Tags: asia, Telehealth, Australia, frost & sullivan, 2015 GIL Australia congress

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