5 Trends in Healthcare Being Tackled by HealthTech in 2016

“Tempora fugit et nos mutamur in illis”…”Time flies and we change with it”. With rapid economic and population growth, Healthcare in South East Asia is changing fast. Increasing affluence and demand for better and more sustainable healthcare has led to advanced techniques changing the way Healthcare is operating. However, healthcare quality and provision varies widely in South East Asia. This is why influential and innovative startups can help bridge that gap and create sustainable changes in the ecosystem. Here are 5 trends in healthcare that are currently being tackled by HealthTech innovations in South East Asia:

Medical Tourism,

…where patients travel to other countries for a medical procedure has become a rising market. Just in Singapore, medical tourism generated S$832 million in 2013. In March 2016, Thailand-located Medical Departures raised US$ 2.5 million in Series A funding led by DMP VC, and joined by OPT SEA, CyberAgent Ventures and Hubert Burda Media. Practo, an online practice management software used by more than 8000 doctors in India to treat 3 million patients, raised US$ 90 million in a Series C funding in 2015 led by Tencent Holdings, and joined by six more investors. CEO Anurav Rane of Mumbai-located project “Plan my Medical Trip” predicts the market to hit US$ 8 billion by 2020 from US$ 3 billion in 2016.


It is expected that the number of diabetics in Singapore will increase to 1 million by 2050. According to the International Diabetes Federation, more than 191 million people in Asia live with diabetes. In April 2016, Singapore’s Minister for Health Gan King Yong announced to establish a taskforce to wage a war against diabetes. Asia shows multiple promising startups fighting diabetes already with Singapore-located Holmusk, Indian HealthPlix, and Chinese diabetes management platform Weitang.

Aging Population

The Asian Developing Bank (ADB) forecasts the elderly population in the region to reach 922.7 million by the middle of the century and as a result will be on track to become the oldest region in the world. This means more related diseases, healthcare needs and services. The Modern Aging initiative of ACCESS Health International in Singapore helps promote businesses that serve the needs of aging populations. More focused on aspects of aging such as the need for care coordination is B2B Singapore-based startup MyDoc, or Singaporean device-based startups Connected Health and myHealth Sentinel.


…is one of the most recently developed Tech fields that in Asia. For both parties, InsurTech startups and insurers, the development of an ecosystem in InsurTech is important to battle the under-served insurance market in Asia. One of the best example for InsurTech start-ups is China’s well-funded Zhong An, a US$ 8 billion rated online-only insurer backed by Alibaba, that highlights the very importance of innovations in insurance that need to be taken. FWD, a leading insurance venture, re-positioned its focus from an insurer to a digital insurance provider than currently spans Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. In Singapore, InsurTechAsia got founded recently and is currently about to develop the ecosystem of insurance innovators around Asia.

Health Risk Assessment

… is a health questionnaire to evaluate health risks and life quality of patients. When talking about modern HRA, we usually talk about “MedTech for All” to provide diagnostics using smartphones and wearables. Asia gathers numerous innovating companies to look for: Singapore-based Healint, a digital-healthcare analytics startup leverages data for faster clinical trials and helps patients and clinicians with data for Neurology and Immunology treatments. Health Vectors, a Bangalore based start-up providing personal health check-ups and insights using predictive analytics. Futher, Singapore’s Active Ager Asia that just raised an undisclosed six figure seed round and proposes to deliver a rewarding healthy lifestyle, and KFIT, a fitness-sharing platform founded in Malaysia, which raised US$ 12 million in Series A funding in February 2016 and is currently expanding in Asia.

The views expressed here are of the author’s and Galen Growth Asia and may not necessarily subscribe to them.

Authored by: Dario Heymann

Edited by: Helene Champoux

Copyright © 2017 Galen Growth Asia

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