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On 16 September representatives of the management boards of key medical companies, insurers, as well as manufacturers of medical equipment, IT solutions, companies from the pharmaceutical sector and investors such as private equity firms met in Warsaw to learn about the latest findings of PMR research and forecasts in the private healthcare sector. Some of the prominent guests took part in panel discussions and presented a lot of interesting information about the private healthcare market in Poland. Networking meetings meanwhile were full of business talks.
Private sector in the reality of a pandemic – a big drop and a strong rebound
PMR Private Healthcare 2022 Forum began with a data-driven presentation by PMR’s Head of Econometrics after the introduction of the guests. During the presentation, it was possible to learn, among other things, that this year GDP growth is expected almost everywhere in the world. The expert pointed out that the global GDP this year will not only make up for the losses of the previous year, but will already be nearly 3% higher than in 2019, and the cumulative growth from 2019 to 2022 will be close to 8%.
An important issue already raised in the next lecture was PMR’s value and forecasts for the private healthcare market. Here, too, there were a number of interesting data from PMR’s numerous reports. According to forecasts presented by PMR, the private healthcare market will grow by 17% in 2021. This means that it will reach a value of PLN 27.7bn. This will be the highest growth rate in many years. Our experts also presented the value of the FFS market and medical services provided in the subscription model. During the event our guests had the opportunity to learn about the data concerning the market of hospitals in Poland as well as the institutions providing psychiatric care in our country. Experts emphasized that much of the information presented was updated for the purposes of the event.
Moreover, the company conducted research, the results of which had their absolute premiere during the event. PMR analysts presented them during a presentation on not only the private healthcare market, but also telemedicine care in Poland and diagnostic imaging.
Before lunch a very important debate took place, in which Anna Rulkiewicz (LUX MED), Adam Bialkowski (Medicover), Anna Janiczek (PZU), Aneta Rubiec (Signal Iduna) and Andrzej Sokolowski (OSSP) participated. The interviewees shared their conclusions one and a half years after the outbreak of coronavirus in Poland.
Strong conclusion – or self-medication a growing challenge
During the forum the results of the latest PMR study on the private healthcare market in Poland were presented. The survey was conducted in September 2021. One of the most interesting findings presented by PMR experts is that, compared with the results of the survey conducted in April and May 2021, the importance of the barrier that respondents believe is the self-treatment with OTC drugs and dietary supplements has increased – from 15% indications to 27%. It is now the second biggest barrier to growth in the private healthcare market after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fact that Poles often choose self-treatment instead of visiting doctors is also confirmed by data concerning the market for dietary supplements. According to PMR data, in 2020 the market was worth nearly PLN 6bn and was growing both in the previous years and in the pandemic year 2020. This value includes sales of dietary supplements in the non-pharmacy channel, i.e. in grocery stores, sports stores, drug stores, herbalists, as well as online sales in e-pharmacies, e-shops and allegro-type trading platforms. Additionally, our outlook for the dietary supplement market is optimistic.
Imaging and laboratory diagnostics – a good lesson not for the layman
The next part of the event began with a presentation by our guest from MEDTECH POLAND. The lecture was delivered by Józef Jakubiec, who shared with the forum participants the latest data on the laboratory diagnostics market as regards the purchase of reagents.
The guests appreciated our last panel discussion, in which Jaroslaw Furdal (Voxel), Marek Witulski (Siemens) and Jakub Swadzba (Diagnostyka) took part. In this way, we were able to obtain interesting information on the activities undertaken in the field of the latest technologies in diagnostics in Poland, both imaging and laboratory – from the side of the providers and equipment suppliers.
One of the most important issues raised during this conversation was the prospects for new technologies. When asked about the most promising specialties in terms of rapid development of new technologies, the panelists mentioned cardiology (e.g., solutions used in ambulances), neurology (treatment of dementia, MS) and oncology.
A large part of the debate was devoted to the use of artificial intelligence in diagnostics. In the private sector, investments go towards improving workflow and patient comfort. The public sector (universities), on the other hand, focuses on developing state-of-the-art AI solutions.
Our guests did not hide their interest in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the work of both radiologists and laboratory diagnosticians. Although new technologies are already largely present in these sectors, a wider use of AI in systems used for diagnostics raises some doubts. This is because changes are needed both in legal issues and in the approach of specialists. For example, today’s legislation does not allow devices to learn, it is only possible to use algorithms and the so-called deep learning. So, the question remains open: who will take advantage of this opportunity and when?
To sum up the entire event – the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will not end with its expiration. During the last months, Poles have incurred a medical debt, which they will unfortunately have to repay in the near future. The influx of patients will be felt not only by the public segment, but also by the private one, which will develop, among others, in the field of psychiatry, cardiology or oncology. Additionally, the strengthened trend of caring for health and growing health awareness will positively contribute to the development of the private healthcare market, which will also support the development of new technologies.
Thank you all for taking part in the II Private Healthcare Forum 2022!
An extensive photo gallery from the event is available at: https://private-healthcare-forum.com/galeria-2021/