A quickening pulse pulse is a vital sign in healthcare healthcare - a driving force in developed and emerging markets

Global healthcare

The patient-provider puzzle

What to expect here:

In the world-famous 1964 musical fantasy, Mary Poppins got it spot-on. After sternly administering medicine to her young charges, her reluctant patients are thrilled to find that they can all taste different flavors: strawberry, lime cordial and rum punch. Yet she was wrong – it wasn't the 'sugar that helped the medicine go down' – it was this innovative, highly tailored approach that guaranteed the best outcome and acceptance. Fifty years on, the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors are coming face to face with similar challenges and opportunities.

In sickness and in wellness – megatrends tell only half the story. The global population is rising and aging. And yes, with all its challenges, longevity creates opportunity and markets. Yet, in emerging markets, demographic trends can tell a very different story. In 2030, half of Niger's population will be below 15, while half of all Japanese will be over 52. One size does not cure all.

Medicine, life sciences, pharma and healthcare , as well as associated areas such as fitness, wellness and nutrition, are experiencing entirely new forces nipping at their traditional business models due to the increased pull of digitization and e-health applications. Yet, with at least 60% of the population (and as much as 80% in the developed world) expected to live in urban areas, what about long term perspectives of rural areas?

The digital future of health

In the future, medical treatment will be supported by a range of diagnostic tools and data provided by smart pills, sensors and metabolite patient profiling. Better provision of healthcare as a result of the careful and comprehensive implementation of powerful digital technology is just what the doctor ordered.

A world full of contrasts

For all intents and purposes, health markets are regionally if not locally unique. For companies, it pays to have deep expertise and acute sensitivity – or to know where to find it. Roland Berger's industry experts are on the pulse of today's markets, able to offer customized approaches and insights:

In the Netherlands, a required budget cut of EUR 5.7 billion has to be aligned with an imperative for improvements in quality. Healthcare must be cheaper and better. What is called for is a radical re-design in the way healthcare is delivered; each section in the healthcare pathway has to be analysed for efficiency. Smarter, flexible working is the way ahead. Roland Berger experts have helped shave 30-40% off the costs at one national healthcare institution in this way.

In Indonesia, the country with the world's fourth largest population and an expanding middle class, national healthcare spending in 2010 stood at USD 20 billion. With the introduction of the universal healthcare system for all 267 million Indonesians, expenditure is expected to reach USD 363 billion by 2025. This kind of growth is highly tempting for foreign healthcare providers. They, however, need to tread carefully – Indonesia’s healthcare market is made up of many different segments. New entrants need to understand which niche they serve and gain credibility with stakeholders to succeed.

A taste of our deep understanding of local healthcare and pharma markets – be it in China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Switzerland, Benelux or Japan – can be accessed, in the first instance, through a number of highly topical publications.


To be taken with a pinch of data, three times a day

The winds of socio-technological change are felt across all industries. With technological advances come increased data volumes, a change in consumer/patient behavior while start-ups bring entirely new dynamics to traditional markets. We believe that within short, the market will be predominantly characterised by data-driven business models.

A major challenge in modern medicine is the interpretation of enormous amounts of data within human biological networks. Systems medicine is just one piece of the 21st century health puzzle. It helps to be clear how the various players (such as regulatory bodies, insurance companies, care providers etc.) are positioned.

Companies aiming to win in Digital Health must understand the opportunities and possibilities along the industry's value chain to find their best-fit option – from R&D to Sales. At one end, new technologies, such as additive manufacturing, predictive maintenance or bio printing, have the potential to disrupt the Medtech and Pharma manufacturing landscape.

At the other end, evolving regional or consumer group attitudes toward e-health need to be carefully monitored and understood. Digital offerings are manifold and will change the way how people are treated tremendously. Major digital health trends, such as wearables, self-monitoring and tele-health, bring convenience as well as higher efficiencies. With increasingly advancing discoveries in the Life Sciences, innovative initiatives and collaborative projects between traditional players and start-ups are well worth exploring.

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