1. SEA healthcare expenditure to GDP averages at 4.5% and geared towards the 6% average for developing nations with Vietnam leading the region

Healthcare expenditure in the region is still below the global average of nine percent. Currently, Vietnam leads SEA with the highest healthcare expenditure to GDP at six percent. Meanwhile, Indonesia trails behind at three percent representing the lowest healthcare expenditure to GDP for the region. Universal health care coverage rolled out in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand will help these countries achieve higher coverage levels. Higher GDP per capita will also support individual healthcare expenditure. A long-term goal for SEA is to achieve the OECD average healthcare expenditure per capita at ~$5000 per annum.

Global vs SEA healthcare expenditure as % of GDP 2019

2. Delay in receiving care from inefficient processes is the underlying problem found throughout SEA’s patient journey

The patient journey in SEA faces numerous bottlenecks, long wait times at the forefront of the problems dealt with by most patients. Manual patient check-in and check-out lead to long queues during the initial registration process, physician check-up, and pharmacy visit. The average patient in SEA will need two hours for a single doctor visit before factoring in travel time. Additional paint points shared by most patients are physician proximity to home and patient to doctor ratio.

Healthcare patient journey

3. SEA’s eHealth sector expected to see 10x growth by F2025

Indonesia and Singapore are relevant countries for digital health innovation. These two countries account for more than half of the market size in 2020. At the same time, the other countries will play a supportive role in pushing eHealth to grow 10x by 2025. Within this, Digital diagnostics, consultations, and pharmacy segments are estimated to capture 70% of the market by 2022. Meanwhile, appointment booking and home healthcare will support the offline channels.

4. Recent funding in telemedicine and digital ecosystem partnerships drives eHealth sector growth

The region has seen an influx of deals within the last five years. Since 2017, SEA has seen nearly 3x growth in the number of funding deals. In 2021, funding has focused on telemedicine. Just last month, a Singapore-based player received over $60 million in funding with a total of $100 million raised since 2017. Telemedicine has also sparked the interest of digital ecosystem players including the ride-hailing and fintech segments. Recently, consumer tech players have collaborated to unleash an array of healthcare use cases easily accessible from popular on-demand apps. We can expect digital ecosystem players to fine-tune their eHealth partnerships and offerings with a focus on the patient experience.