Telemedicine Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2021
Teleradiology (Radiographic Interpretation Service) Market for FY2020 Attained 12,738 Million Yen, 102.5% of Previous Year
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) carried out a survey on the domestic telemedicine market, and found out the trends by segment, the trends of market players, and the future perspectives. This paper discloses the market transitions of teleradiology (radiographic interpretation service) and online medical care solutions.
Telemedicine, which is the behavior for health promotion and medical treatment utilizing telecommunication devices, can be categorized into D2D (Doctor to Doctor), D2P (Doctor to Patient), and others (those that do not have to do with “Doctor to”). While D2D is telemedicine performed between doctors (especially between a medical specialist and a non-medical specialist) such as teleradiology, telepathology, intensive care telemedicine, etc., D2P is performed between a doctor and a patient, specifically online medical care solutions, teleconsultation for health and medical issues, remote surgery, etc. Other telemedicine cases that do not involve doctors include online drug administration guidance between a pharmacist and a patient.
The largest market in telemedicine is the teleradiology market which is about to be matured as many private companies having entered the market. The market size of teleradiology (radiographic interpretation services) in FY2020, based on the sales at businesses, was estimated to rise to 102.5 percent on a YoY basis, reaching 12,738 million yen. On the other hand, the market is hardly formed for telepathology though it belongs to the same D2D category. As for intensive care telemedicine, successive new market entry together with the attention of being contactless in the expanding COVID-19 infections can lead to full market launch hereafter.
The online medical-care solution market is exponentially expanding in the COVID-19 calamity. The market size based on the sales at businesses in FY2020 is estimated as 2,200 million yen, 200 percent of the size of the previous fiscal year.
For online drug administration guidance solutions, the official deregulation of online drug administration guidance in September 2020 has rapidly increased the number of pharmacies introducing the solutions. As can see from some companies having started demonstrating remote surgical operations using surgical robots in 2021 and Japan Surgical Society announcing its commencement of formulating the guidelines of remote surgical operations in March 2021, social implementation of remote surgical operations has accelerated.
COVID-19 Pandemic Rapidly Increased Implementation of Online Medical Care Solutions
When MHLW Health Policy Bureau notified about remote medical solutions in 2015, it was regarded as effective deregulation of online medical care solutions and led to a launch of the online medical care solution market in around 2016. By around 2019, the number of medical facilities under contract of online medical care solutions has stayed flat, but expansion of COVID-19 infections in 2020 attracted sudden attention on online medical care. This drove market entry one after another after April 2020.
In such a situation, MHLW pressed ahead with time-limited, special measures (deregulation, etc.) regarding online medical care. In addition, many online medical care solution vendors provided time-limited services free-of-charge. These increased the number of medical care facilities introducing the services during the period between April and July 2020, and that number has been stably on the rise even after that.
The teleradiology (radiographic interpretation service) market is about to be matured, with the value-based market size to steadily expand by a few percent per year. The market has expanded mainly among hospitals, but as the implementation to hospitals has begun saturated, it has started shifting to clinics and medical centers equipped with advanced modality solutions such as CT (computer tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) equipment. This tendency is likely to accelerate hereafter, while the number of hospitals newly implementing the solution is on the decline.
On the other hand, the market size of online medical care solutions has doubled from the previous fiscal year in accordance with rapid increase in medical institutions implementing online medical care solutions. The market in FY2021 is forecasted to decline to 93.2 percent of FY2020 to 2,050 million yen, because increase in the number of medical institutions newly implementing the solutions is hardly expected in the COVID-19 calamity. Still, the market size based on the amount paid for the service is likely to stay extremely higher than before the pandemic.
The growth margin can differ significantly, depending on the contents of “the guidelines for appropriate online medical care practices” which is planned to be come up with in autumn 2021, as well as of FY2022 Revision of the Medical Payment System.
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