Evolution of Digital Health and Wellness: Adopting a seamless digital payment journey – Part1.

The evolution of Industry 4.0 epitomizes the digital transformation, affecting virtually all industries with new actors making significant waves across sectors.  Health and Wellness has been one such sector experiencing rapid evolution, not only in digital health but also in the once largely ignored patient payment journey.   Different types of healthcare system coverage, corporate initiatives and government policies influence the creation of innovative digital solutions.   While the landscape is not evolving at the same pace everywhere, the pandemic has certainly accelerated innovation globally.

Digital payments are central to the changing Health and Wellness landscape  

The rise of e-health platforms such as Doctolib in France and Germany have shown a rapid adoption by physicians and patience in accepting telemedicine.  The availability of different payment options and processing methods are crucial to facilitate a seamless patient journey within digital health platforms.  Collaboration between start-ups and Payment Solution Providers (PSP) has accelerated digitalization and improving the practitioner-onboarding process.  In the U.K. and Germany, there has been a wider adoption of alternative payment methods within healthcare apps such as PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Adoption of digital health platforms underpinned by regulatory frameworks

Even before the pandemic, the Health and Wellness sector has been one of the top priorities of government authorities:

  • France has been a leader in digital health with public reimbursement for teleconsultations available since September 2018.
  • Belgium launched the mhealth platform in 2019 to better integrate mobile health apps in the Belgian healthcare system.
  • Spain has been developing a roadmap for a digital health care system since 2010 and has accelerated its Digital Health strategy in 2020 in the adoption of digital health, developing infrastructures and applications to promote public health and well-being.

Although nearly all European governments have drawn up a digital health roadmap, the level adoption still varies greatly, with France, Germany and Spain in the lead.

The burgeoning Healthtech sector leads the way for patient digital payments

Healthtech has never been more important, not only playing a major role in the digital transformation in the Health & Wellness sector, but also serving as a catalyst in integrating digital payments into the patient journey.   Healthtec in Europe had a banner year in 2020 with hefty funding rounds and many telemedicine and digital diagnostics startups significantly increasing user numbers.  Investor funding in the digital health industry worldwide rose from $13.9 billion in 2019 to $21.6 billion in 2020.  Investments in the first three quarters of 2021 hit $34 billion across 1040 deals, with the expectations to close at double compared to 2020.  Telemedicine was at the top in the funding category in 2020 with $4.2 billion, almost 2.5 times as much as data analytics and mHealth apps, which placed second and third, respectively. 

Several big players that have already raised significant capital include UK-based telemedicine giant Babylon Health ($1.1b), medical bookings Polish-based Docplanner ($141m) and French-based Doctolib ($267m), and French Swedish digital health leader Kry ($568m). 

Share This