Medical Education Market: ‘Digitalization’ to Transcend Market Growth
CME (Continuing Medical Education) programs have emerged as a multibillion dollar enterprise in developed countries. Although these programs are slowly finding their ground in developing countries such as India, China, and Indonesia, the medical education market is yet to explore their full potential in these countries. The medical education market continues to gain strength through the rise in the number of students keen on seeking medical education, and the growing preference for online training.
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Digitalization plays a key role in unlocking numerous growth opportunities in the medical education market. It is a tool to address the widening gap between new technological advancements and professional practices. Numerous healthcare facilities have mandated the completion of online training to gain professional privileges. According to research findings of the BioMedCentral (BMC) (2016), medical education offered through online platforms is likely to increase, because it provides unparalleled access to new research techniques. When looked at from a manufacturer’s perspective, it is a potential opportunity for the development of new tools with differentiated features using robust technologies.
Sensing the growth potential of the medical education market in general, and the online learning segment in particular, Transparency Market Research (TMR) conducted comprehensive research on the nodes and internodes influencing the market, and their impact on the market dynamics. The information presented in the report gives business leaders a better understanding of the market.
How has the Medical Education Market Transitioned?
There is the pressing need to deliver a system that not only augments the knowledge of medical professionals but equips them with the ability to stay updated with the recent changes in the medical world. The market was once knowledge-intensive; however, it is foraying towards the era of education through interactive media. Customers demand that the education system is aligned with their individual abilities. A human-to-machine interaction certainly gives them an opportunity to decide the sequence of the information and pace of the study program. This has prompted manufacturers to come up with solutions that are not only cost-effective but offer features such as customization of pace.
The lack of primary care in underdeveloped and developing regions serves as an opportunity in the disguise of a restraint. This ‘physician shortage’ experienced by these regions and the burgeoning demand-capacity gap calls for the need to increase the number of medical professionals. As a result, governments of these regions are concentrating their efforts on promoting medical education through campaigns and funding. Looking at the current need for clinicians and the palpable shift in the consumer outlook, the medical education market is projected to attain a valuation of more than US 44 Bn by 2027, burgeoning at a CAGR of more than 4%.
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Technological Advancements to Help Manufacturers Thrive in the Market’s Turbulence
Technological advancement is a trend that has redefined the medical education market’s growth. ‘Virtual reality’, being the catchphrase in the medical sector, has influenced the medical education space at large. Education providers have realized the dynamic nature of the medical environment. They are striving to adapt to the seamless transition that necessitates the need to understand the real-life environment in which medical services are rendered. This trend has highly benefitted the manufacturers providing virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI) platforms. It has also encouraged medical schools and researchers to develop projects that cater to the current need for virtual reality. The LINDSAY Virtual Human Project is one such initiative that is aimed at building a computer generated, 3-D virtual human.
Technological advancements in the medical education market are not just limited to virtual reality, but extend their reach to the development of wearable devices for paramedical studies. Students and education providers no longer want location to be the barrier in the way of education. Moreover, looking at the current scenario in the medical industry, there is the need to intensify the relationship between people and technology. This notion has led manufacturers to develop solutions such as the Google Glass, which allows the teacher to demonstrate a surgery for the student in real time from any place.
Growing Collaborations and Partnerships to Create New Avenues of Growth
In a bid to consolidate their position in developing and underdeveloped regions, stakeholders in the medical education market are banking on collaborations and strategic alliances. Stakeholders are closely analyzing the opportunities in these regions based on the need for medical professionals, the prevalence of a particular disease, and the need for expansion of medical education. For instance, in 2016, Apollo Hospitals collaborated with the University of New South Wales to launch public health degree programs in India. This collaboration helped the company enhance the capacity of India’s workforce, and address the major health challenges faced by the country. Similarly, Gundersen Health System partnered with Dilla University and Dilla University Referral Hospital to expand its medical education program in Ethiopia.
Competition Intensity of the Medical Education Market
The medical education market remains highly competitive with the presence of numerous local and regional players along with national and international players. Key players in the market are banking on developing new education programs and platforms as the key strategy to strengthen their footprints in the medical education market. For instance, Harvard Medical School recently hosted two days of an external education program for healthcare professionals, community members, and policy makers. This program was aimed at increasing opioid misuse awareness. Similarly, John Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center launched the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP). Such programs not only create awareness regarding the need for optimal medical care but give these companies an opportunity to build a brand image.
Key players are essentially capitalizing on the void in the demand and supply to expand their revenue share in the market. They are sensing opportunities in the regions with a dearth of medical facilities or healthcare professionals, striving to expand their precincts in these regions, as there is a very little scope of competition. They are using mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships as a key to penetrate regional markets and expand the medical workforce in these regions. A major chunk of collaborations in the medical education market were aimed at expanding medical services and medical education programs in underdeveloped regions.