Introduction to German digital healthcare market

digital health market

Germany Trade and Invest is a foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany which aims to attract investment for people to set up businesses in Germany, also provide assistance for companies indigenous to Germany to go abroad. Additionally, they focus on promoting digital health market and innovation in the healthcare domain.

  • Statistically, the global digital health market is expected to double regarding volume by 2017 and exceed USD 200 billion by 2020.
  • Germany is one of the largest spenders in the healthcare domain with its expenditure exceeding the EUR 300 billion mark in 2013and is expected to grow in the coming years.
  • This increase in spending can be associated with advancement in technology, aging society, the spread of chronic diseases, etc.
  • In Germany, almost 86.5 % of the population is covered by public health insurance with the rest covered by the private sector. Germany has also seen an increase in the number of privately owned hospitals over the years.
  • In a nutshell, the country will have to cater to a lot of patients in the coming years.

Germany’s growing digital economy offers unusual conditions for new products in the healthcare industry. The exponential increase in internet usage, the lucrative software market and the influx of mobile devices have incentivized digital healthcare in the country. mHealth is also a key factor in the healthcare aspect with nutrition and workout being the most popular mHealth apps.

Policies affecting digital healthcare

A consulting firm which specializes in healthcare on the European legislation policies and regulations. The present day healthcare system needs deep structural reforms to ensure sustainability of health systems.There is an absolute lack of awareness, confidence and transparency regard to data collection. Also, the market potential of e-Health is high, with an 18.6% annual growth rate and with the public health expenditure comprising of almost 7.5% of the GDP, some steps to revamp the current medical system need to be taken.

  • ehealth has a lot of benefits in the long run- providing employment, trained personnel and most importantly help the patients.
  • These characteristics are absolutely in synch with the vision of the European Commission.
  • The European Commission to tap all the opportunities related to e-health provides a plan of action.
  • This plan of action is essentially a roadmap to empower the patients and help professionals as well as link up device and technology, for example tackling the problem of interoperability.

The forecast is as follows:

  • Digital Single Market
  • Review of e-Privacy Directive
  • Horizon 2020 funding of projects
  • Adoption of Medical Devices Directive
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Investment opportunities in digital health market

Digital healthcare hub is a global competition, and moreover, we need to develop a framework for an entire ecosystem for digital healthcare. The digital healthcare market is growing at a breakneck pace, almost 7 billion euros came just from US investments in the year 2015.

From an investment point of view, there are three major players in the sector- Strategic, Financial, and Government.

  • Strategic investors need startups to invest, and moreover, the innovation, technology, research and development in startups are incentives enough to attract investment.
  • Financial investors look into the growth, profit, and viability of a project before they invest.
  • A need-based function primarily drives e-health. For example, Germany faced a lack of doctors; Brazil faced a lack of medical infrastructure. This demand for medical systems to be revamped, caused an exponential investment growth in the e-health sector in these countries.
  • eHealth has the potential to become a global growth driver, but there are unique patterns of functionalities as it has been compartmentalized into low, middle and high-income regions. Implementation of investment strategies depends on a variety of portfolios, for example
  • Political and Legal Scenario
  • Science Publications and Research Analysis
  • Market Scenario
  • Public Search

The future of investment

The implementation of the strategy takes into account a set of parameters. The key element here is, a collaboration between startups, established industries, and hospitals. This would help create a proper framework for e- health around the world.

In the future, the status of eHealth will only be dependent upon a patient driven market. The product/service would be innovation centered, and industry focused on taking into consideration the doctor and patient aspect.

Brazil: A case study

Brazil is one of the largest eHealth markets in the world and is going through a demographic transition. This change has already set things in motion for a corresponding increase in healthcare facilities. It has shown a steady rise in consumer awareness, expectations, and spending. Patient-centric approach always helps to create a successful product/service.  There are several challenges in attracting investment in Brazil, but challenges always bring along with them opportunities. Private and Public sector partnerships are proving to be extremely lucrative. Additionally, Brazil is partnering with international companies to provide personalized medicine to the people of the country. This project aims to use genome sequencing and a web based support of medical decisions including identification of the probability of particular diseases.

Startup presentations

With over 200 million people worldwide suffering from heart problems, innovation and research in this domain are the need of the hour. These people live a life of uncertainty and apprehension. The heart specialist cannot examine the patient at all times; he can do so only when the patient shows symptoms of a heart problem, for example, while jogging or climbing a flight of stairs.

  • A standard ECG has only 12 channels, only depicting the front side of the heart which is the reason why cardiologists can only measure up to 60% of heart infections.
  • The startup has developed a portable ECG which connects to a smartphone and has attached electrodes.
  • A fascinating part of this product is that it can produce the highest quality ECG with 22 channels and a 360-degree view.
  • It is extremely user-friendly and uses four electrodes at a time providing maximum efficiency.
  • It advises patients step by step as to what has to be done and sends data immediately to a medical doctor.

About the marketing strategy, the company has partnered with a retail outlet of a large mobile phone provider in Germany and has entered into a contract with a health insurance company for 2000 patients.


Julia Ruhle, Germany Trade & Invest
David Hubert, EUMonitr
Prof.Andreas Keck/Justus Wollf, SYTE Institute
Prof.Jefferson G Fernandes, School of Health Education & Sciences, German Hospital Oswaldo Cruz, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Henricus Van Baars, Cardiosecur

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Upload Date: 3rd December 2015

Video code: RS171115 02

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