The value of Thailand's digital health transformation market is expected to reach US$1.4 billion in 2025, driven by technological advancements and growing healthcare demand, according to a recent report.
Research conducted by consulting firm YCP Solidiance found several emerging technologies such as telemedicine and mobile health applications are becoming more common in the country's digital health sector, which has been growing over the past few years.
Thailand's telemedicine market is expected to grow by about $90 million this year, with a compound annual growth rate of 19.3% estimated between 2021 and 2027. The report suggests technology is evolving to the 2.0 level, providing quality healthcare that can be accessed remotely by patients located in rural and underserved areas.
"No longer limited to video-conferencing, telemedicine 2.0 incorporates remote health monitoring and facility integration to provide a more comprehensive patient experience," said the research paper.
The most significant factors driving the adoption of digital health technologies are inefficient healthcare systems, limited healthcare resources, and rising costs, according to the research.
The paper estimates 70% of the country's annual healthcare expenditure is in the public sector, while spending in the private sector has risen from 23% in 2012 to almost 30% in 2019. Healthcare expenditure is expected to expand in the private sector going forward.
Greater collaboration between public and private entities is needed as a growing amount of investment flows into the sector, according to YCP. More modern digital technologies are also likely to be integrated into the sector, the research noted.
"Industry development necessitates a large amount of investment, which is expected to increase over the years from both local and international players, resulting in a wider range of healthcare offerings and services," said the paper.
According to YCP, Thailand's healthcare ranked fifth in the global healthcare index in 2021 and first for detection based on the quality of its laboratory systems, real-time surveillance and reporting, case-based investigation and epidemiology workforce.
Thailand led all of Southeast Asia with an index score that increased 0.2 from 2019 to 68.2, leading Singapore (57.4), Malaysia (56.4) and Indonesia (50.4).
Areas where the country could improve include risk factors among all other criteria based on high levels of political and security risk, aspects pertaining to socioeconomic resilience, inadequate infrastructure, environmental risk, and public health vulnerabilities, as Thailand performed the worst in these categories.
"While Thailand can improve on the technology it implements, there are great opportunities in digital health transformation because of strong support from the government and the healthcare sector," said YCP.