The trends provided above are not suggesting that the digital diabetes care market has already seen its breakthrough, which is yet to come. However, it has all the components to evolve into a mass market in the future: a huge target group, innovative consumer-oriented products and services, working tools for HCPs and payer organizations to support patients, and a proof of concept. In other words, it is ready to ‘take off’ now.
In the last two years, the digital diabetes care market has seen a substantial progress. In the new report, Digital Diabetes Care Market 2018-2022: Ready to Take Off, Research2Guidance demonstrates how the improvement of digital diabetes solutions has resulted in the increasing demand for them among patients and healthcare organizations. According to the report, the digital diabetes care market has reached a tipping point, which will result in the sustainable growth in the future.
Digital diabetes solutions would never launch without smart consumer devices. The constant increase in the penetration of smartphones and tablets is one of the most fundamental drivers of the digital diabetes market. As Research2Guidance estimates, between 2015 and 2017 the global penetration of smartphones and tablets grew from 42% to 64% of the total number of diagnosed diabetics.
Here the ten major trends shaping the global digital diabetes market to watch:
1. The digital diabetes target group cover 2/3 of the global population
The increasing penetration of smart consumer devices has extended the target market across the globe. At the same time, the number of active users of digital services increased to nearly 5% of the addressable market
2. Connected digital diabetes apps are now ubiquitous
The majority of newly released apps and updates allow a user to directly import glucose meter readings from an app, either via Bluetooth connectivity or plug-in solutions.
3. Connected digital diabetes apps are now device-agnostic
This has significantly improved device interoperability. Most of leading publishers seek to establish partnerships with as many device manufacturers as possible. As a result, the market is evolving into an open device-agnostic ecosystem, in which customers are not dependent either on a single glucose meter or a single app to keep consistent data records.
4. Digital diabetes apps have become consumer-oriented
Just some three years ago, the majority of diabetes apps were simple data display screens or gamification attempts which had mostly failed. These apps would compete on the number of data points they could show on one screen, with little regard for design and user experience. Yet over the years, publishers learned that they would struggle to retain users if their apps were unappealing in the finish. In 2015, Informed Data Systems launched its OneDrop app that set a new market standard for both design and marketing. Many others have used it as a blueprint since then.
5. Connected apps have become more design-focused
Similar to the case of apps, a focus on device design is also meant to appeal to the consumer side of diabetes patients. Several digital diabetes care providers, such as Ascencia, OneDrop, and Dario, have paid a lot of attention to making their products resemble stylish gadgets rather than medical devices.
6. Data analytics and AI are now part of digital diabetes service solutions
Currently, the output of these efforts is limited to pattern recognition and automated chat bot conversation solutions. Although AI-based services cannot still compete with human care in terms of quality, the first implemented AI features will act as a reference for competitors. New and improved AI-based service offerings will be one of the most important developments in the foreseeable future.
7. Coaching has become part of digital diabetes services
In 2016, only a handful of companies, such as Livongo, have offered coaching via their app channel. Today, around 5% of the total digital diabetes apps available have integrated various forms of coaching for their users.
8. Bundling has become the most successful market revenue model
A typical bundle includes an app with various features and content, connected devices (connectors, meters, pens, and/or pumps), a test strip supply, accessories (carry cases), and coaching services. Despite the fact that bundles are offered by less than 5% of today’s digital diabetes app publishers, they generated over 40% of total digital diabetes care revenue in 2017. Bundled offers have proven to be capable of making a real impact in the diabetes care.
9. Acceptance of digital diabetes solutions from payers has increased
In the last two years, hundreds of new partnership deals between a payer organization and a digital diabetes care company have been reported in the North American region. Other regions have shown a slower flow of announcements of partnership deals, yet they are gaining momentum in major West European markets as well.
10. Clinical trials are used for promoting digital diabetes solutions
Most of the leading digital diabetes app publishers have invested heavily over the last years into their own clinical trials in order to prove both clinical and economic efficiency of their offers. Nearly all the major players are now able to show patients the outcome of their digital diabetes care solutions. Few of them also link their services to cost savings that can be achieved by using digital solutions for diabetes care. Although many of such trials still lack scientific substance and economic vigor, they have become a powerful marketing tool to promote offers to consumers and payers.