Care Anywhere

Moving health and wellness out of the hospital into the hands of the consumer

Middle East Healthcare Survey

Technology is providing the opportunity for new ways of accessing and delivering healthcare, and people are taking more responsibility for their individual health and wellbeing. Middle East citizens are more open to ‘Care Anywhere’ and health services in a non-traditional setting.

In a society that is living longer, with Governments facing the growing burden of long-term chronic disease and increasing costs of treatment, innovation and technology could be the catalyst for the region to lead the world in developing a healthcare system that is truly responsive to what people want and need.  

Key findings for the region

Setting does not matter

67% are willing to receive healthcare in a non-traditional setting

Middle East consumers generally appear more willing to adopt new healthcare options than those in other countries. About two thirds of people are willing to receive healthcare in a nontraditional setting – clearly illustrating the existing demand of health consumers for new modes of healthcare in the Middle East.

View more

Health-related apps are popular

68% have a health-related app on their mobile or smart device

The Middle East has the second largest mobile phone market in the world - 91% of the UAE population are currently using smartphones, while in Saudi Arabia the figure is 79%. Smartphones are already having a huge impact on how healthcare is delivered globally and this is echoed in our survey.

68% of those surveyed across the region have a health-related application on their smart device (this compares to only 25% in the UK) and 1/3 of them use them at least once a day. The most widely used of these applications are those related to exercise and dieting/weight loss (at 26% each).

View more

Non-traditional appointments are not uncommon

57% have already had a doctor's consultation that is not face-to-face in an office or hospital

While only 10-12% of respondents have had a consultation with a doctor through a mobile app, more than half (57%) of people across the region have had a doctor’s consultation that does not include a face-to-face visit in a hospital or office environment.

View more

Digital is at the core of healthcare growth

Technology is the catalyst for change; digital is providing the means to connect everyone within the healthcare ecosystem and will be at the heart of healthcare’s growth and development. Consumers are not only expecting convenience; they are expecting better quality services over which they have more control. Government, in particular, needs to ensure that policies, regulatory frameworks, and wider societal objectives are clearly defined in order to ensure the focus remains on improving people’s lives; while collaboration between providers and new entrants is essential to create and pilot the digital solutions that will serve the population’s long-term healthcare needs.

The findings from our survey provide some important indicators for those on the forefront of this brave new world.

‘Disconnect between tone at the top and reality on the ground.’

The findings also provide clear pointers to what healthcare services consumers want and where they want to access those services. Developing a smarter healthcare system means focussing relentlessly on meeting consumer needs and understanding their changing attitudes to healthcare and wellbeing. Our research illustrates that:

  1. Healthcare is personal - people across the region are very interested in their health, wellness and fitness.
  2. Better information at their fingertips can empower consumers to make better decisions about their healthcare.
  3. The appetite for healthcare services in non-traditional settings and in the home is already there.
  4. Technology - additional apps (products and services) - and convenience (channels) can improve the attraction for new models of care and treatment.
  5. There are opportunities for both new and traditional providers to respond to what consumers want – greater personalisation through digital.

Government, traditional providers and suppliers

Traditional roles are changing.

  • Move beyond the treatment and the place of treatment towards the continuum of care (education, wellness, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring) wherever and however is most convenient for the consumer.
  • Partner to create new business models that support this care anywhere through digital platforms.
  • Be open to change and innovation, because consumers certainly are.
  • Track consumer attitudes and responses to new products and services through the use of data analytics.

Investors, new entrants and businesses

Seize the moment. Policy makers are looking to innovate and they are actively soliciting ideas and support to build the best healthcare system in the world in the Middle East.

  • Partner closely with providers and policy makers.
  • Stay close to the consumer and constantly test the market.
  • Align to the entire healthcare ecosystem.
  • Be the bridge between traditional healthcare and digital care.

The implications from the survey point to the huge opportunity for government and providers across the Middle East to develop improved health outcomes across their populations. New entrants and investors are poised to promote growth within the healthcare market by developing new products, services and channels, particularly across the digital landscape. And there is enough consumer appetite to create the scale necessary for a good return on investment. But this will happen only if the focus remains firmly on the consumer and if there is real collaboration among all those involved in creating a healthcare system that can be the envy of the world.

The Middle East has a unique opportunity to lead the world in developing a healthcare system that is truly responsive to what people want and need. Governments across the region have a strong desire to innovate, new entrants are combining mobile, digital and wireless technologies with data-driven ‘smart’ solutions, and the demand from patients and the public for care anywhere is already here.

Contact us

Hamish Clark

Hamish Clark

Health Industries Partner, Health System Transformation, PwC Middle East

Eyad Al-Musa

Eyad Al-Musa

Health Industries Partner, Digital Health Transformation, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 52 839 8930

Follow us