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Frontline of Healthcare

Patients Continue to Turn to Telemedicine in Asia

As pandemic-related needs subside, telemedicine has a new purpose: improving access to care in the region.

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Patients Continue to Turn to Telemedicine in Asia

Covid-19 was a key catalyst for digital healthcare adoption in Asia. As shutdowns and virus concerns kept patients at home, telemedicine app usage soared. Recent Bain analysis confirms that those high usage levels persisted in 2022 and remain well above 2020 levels. 

But telemedicine adoption may have significantly more headroom in some countries. Usage in Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, while fast growing, considerably lags usage in Singapore, India, and Indonesia (see Figure 1).

Digital-native companies continue to lead the telemedicine market in Asia, though provider-owned apps have recently started gaining share (see Figure 2). Traditional healthcare providers have the advantage of offering digital and in-person services to an existing, trusting patient base.

In mature healthcare markets, such as the US and Europe, service providers have scaled up digital health services in the existing B2B ecosystem. In emerging Asian markets, where private health insurance coverage remains low, and private provider groups are fragmented, digital natives have been able to play a more meaningful role.

To capture the opportunity, both providers and digital natives can offer a wide range of end-to-end services across digital and in-person care. Digital natives can establish themselves as a first touchpoint of care through telemedicine apps. And providers can, and should, invest aggressively in digital capabilities to deliver more holistic access to care.

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