Pharma companies in China have been in a slump. The market has been shrinking since 2011, when the rise of public health insurance, which covers 80% of costs for medication, gave the government greater power to set and control prices for drugs. Companies like Merck and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have seen a recent decline in sales, potentially due to competition within the market, while AstraZeneca and Sanofi saw slower sales growth than previous years.
The first global study on healthcare access and quality conducted by U.S.-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that despite overall high scores for both quality and access of healthcare in countries like Norway and Australia, treatments for certain cancers in those countries ranked relatively low compared to peers and raised overall mortality rates from preventable causes.
Malaysia-based primary care provider BP Healthcare Group has partnered with the Malaysian branch of Microsoft to launch a healthcare app, Doctor2U. Microsoft’s expertise in cloud technology, data privacy and artificial intelligence will help expand the Doctor2U’s offerings to include ambulance, nursing and physiotherapy services. The company aims to be an all-encompassing healthcare ecosystem for the patient built into a single app.
The UAE’s Thumbay Institute of Precision Medicine and Translational Research is using new technology in genetics, 3D tissue printing and stem cell research to look for cures for diabetes and cancer, among other conditions. The facility’s specializes in precision medicine, a method in which hospitals customize treatment for each individual patient based on genetic, behavioral and environmental factors.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting an investment boost within Singapore, as government officials hope the swift adoption of the technology will improve the finance and healthcare markets. New AI innovations developed by Singaporean tech enterprises offer ways to greatly improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions, as well as disease management.
Kenya’s Vision 2030 plan just allocated funds toward an online data system that will house information on local hospitals and clinicians for patients and medical tourists to use when determining care options. The system will show users the types of services offered at health facilities, the costs for treatment and available physicians at each facility.
AiDoc, an Israel-based healthcare startup, rounded up US$7 million in funding to market its medical imaging tool to hospitals and clinics. Radiologists can use the tool to support image and data analysis. The technology is powered by artificial intelligence that can determine visual anomalies in scanned images and can be used alongside radiologists’ current processes to improve efficiency of operations.
Pharma regulatory officials have called on Indian drug companies to improve their manufacturing standards and data reliability within five years, a critical move for India’s US$16 billion pharma market to stay relevant as a generics supplier. The timeline raises concerns for drug availability in the U.S., as Indian producers supply roughly one-third of generic drugs sold there.