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The global online dermatology consultation market size was valued at USD 2.44 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.80 billion in 2022 to USD 7.38 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 14.9% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with online dermatology consultations experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a higher growth of 384.0% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Online dermatology consultations use various technologies, such as mobile apps and video consultations, which are used as a substitute for in-person consultation with a dermatology professional for the diagnosis or treatment, follow-up, and management of dermatological conditions with remote care. Teleconsultation in specialties, such as dermatology, happens with various modalities, including the store-and-forward modality. The major applications of this market fall under telemedicine. Recent advancements in telemedicine have proven to be an integral component of healthcare services and an important tool in improving access to care.
In terms of the current global market scenario, there is a need to increase the awareness of teledermatology platforms in emerging and underdeveloped countries. However, the increasing adoption of teleconsultation by patients in homes and various healthcare settings for a wide range of reasons is leading to the increasing demand for these services. Online dermatology consultations are particularly suited in terms of the usage of advanced communication technologies and the internet to provide care, which help dermatologists consult with a wider patient base in a cost-effective manner.
Strong Increase in Consultation Volume during COVID-19 Led to a Positive Impact on the Global Market
The COVID-19 pandemic had a favorable impact on the market. The market witnessed considerably high growth, owing to the increase in the number of online dermatology consultations, supported by favorable regulations and a decline in in-person visits to physicians.
Government officials imposed various measures, including lockdowns and restrictions on physical interactions to control coronavirus spread, which substantially reduced the volume of physical visits/consultations with healthcare professionals. According to a study published by the BMJ Journal in 2020, healthcare utilization decreased by about one-third during the pandemic. The utilization was 6.9 million during the pandemic compared to 11 million in pre-pandemic periods. Relaxation in regulations and a decline in patient visits led to the enormous adoption of telemedicine among physicians, including dermatologists. In the U.S., according to a research paper published in the journal JAAD International in December 2020, the proportion of dermatologists who implemented telehealth in their practice increased from 15.0% in 2016 to around 50.0% during the peak level of the pandemic. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) data, telehealth adoption almost tripled from 15.0% in 2017 to 45.0% in 2020 among the U.S. dermatologists. Furthermore, efforts by a number of institutions to limit the proliferation of the disease favored the market growth over the forecast period.
To ensure that physicians could provide unhindered care to individuals requiring dermatological care, the norms relating to virtual consultations were relaxed. Also, reimbursement coverage was extended to online consultations. After the pandemic initially began in March 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced favorable regulatory changes to ease the adoption of online medical consultations. The huge shift toward virtual care resulted in all telehealth companies transforming to meet the rapidly growing demand for telemedicine/teledermatology services. For instance, Doctolib, the largest telemedicine player in France, witnessed an increase in the number of video consultations from 1,000 to 100,000 video consultations per day in just a month during the pandemic in April 2020. The market is expected to witness steady growth prospects over the forecast period after the peak caused by the COVID-19 impact.
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Coordinated Care in Online Dermatology Consultations to Augment Market Growth
Over the past few decades, there has been a lack of coordination between primary care physicians/general physicians and dermatologists in delivering care, especially in rural areas or countries where there is a shortage of dermatologists. Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) or General Physicians (GPs) are the first point of contact for many patients suffering from dermatological conditions such as acne and eczema. Teledermatology reduces the burden on dermatologists by assisting in managing the patients at the PCP/GP level or referring only the relevant patients to the specialists.
For instance, Kaiser Permanente’s teledermatology program is a strong example supporting this concept of coordinated care. A study conducted by Kaiser Permanente found that teleconsultations, which gave dermatologists the opportunity to analyze the transmitted images, helped in diagnosing around 10.0% more cancers with nearly 40.0% fewer referrals to them.
Rising Shortage of Dermatologists Per Million Population to Boost the Adoption of Online Consultations
Some of the prominent drivers impacting the online dermatology consultation market growth are the decrease in the number of dermatologists per million population. For instance, as per research published in the journal Cutis in November 2021, there were more than 11,000 board-certified dermatologists in the U.S., which translates to around 3.5 dermatologists per 100,000 population. The shortage of dermatologists results in a long waiting time for patients and a delayed response even in some developed countries. This will lead to the adoption of telemedicine by dermatologists as well as patients for access to dermatology care in the forecast period. For instance, a November 2020 study conducted by Independence Blue Cross and the University of Pennsylvania found that dermatologists’ average response time was five hours for teledermatology, whereas it took 84 days for primary care physicians to consult with dermatologists. Thus, these factors are expected to drive the greater utilization of these healthcare services.
Surge in Incidence of Dermatological Conditions to Augment Market Growth Prospects
The substantial surge in demand for dermatological services witnessed is attributable to the increasing prevalence of chronic skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, and skin cancer. According to the Burden of Skin Diseases in Europe survey results released by the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) in October 2021, it was observed that an estimated 47.9% of the European population over 18 years old suffered from a dermatological condition in the previous year. According to the British Skin Foundation (BSF), an estimated 100,000 cases of skin cancer are reported in the U.K. every year. Furthermore, the increase in the aging populace who are more prone to certain skin conditions and changes in diet is projected to fuel the global market growth during the forecast period.
Decline in the Usage of Telemedicine Amongst Physicians Post Pandemic to Limit Market Growth
In the initial period of the pandemic, there was a dramatic rise in the adoption of telemedicine amongst physicians, including dermatologists. Still, the usage of telemedicine has steadily declined after the peak pandemic levels of April-May 2020 in almost all countries. Also, healthcare institutions that have installed teleconsultation systems need to pay for the high installation costs. Then, there are hesitations amongst physicians in terms of whether to continue to invest in telemedicine and if it is financially viable or not. Technological issues lead to poor quality of video/audio during the consultations due to lack of latest telecommunication devices, high-speed internet with high bandwidth, and storage capacity for the integration and transmission of medical data. Such factors are anticipated to hinder the growth of the market over the forecast period.
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Strong Adoption of Store-and-forward (Asynchronous) Modality to Lead to the Segment’s Dominance
Based on modality, the global market is segmented into store-and-forward (asynchronous), real-time (synchronous), and others.
In terms of modality, the online dermatology consultation market share was dominated by the store-and-forward segment in 2021 due to the strong adoption of the modality for virtual consultations across the globe. The market is heavily reliant on the modality of store-and-forward (asynchronous) due to the strong requirement for dermatological images for the accurate assessment of diseases. Robust utilization of this modality to compensate for the lack of dermatologists could boost the global market share.
The real-time segment held the second-largest market share in 2021 and is estimated to grow with the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to the technological superiority of this modality in comparison to the others type.
The others segment is also estimated to grow during the forecast period at a constant CAGR.
Greater Usage of Online Consultations in Homecare Settings to Drive the Segment’s Robust Market Share
Based on end-user, the global market is segmented into healthcare facilities and homecare.
The homecare segment is projected to generate the highest revenue in the global market during the forecast period due to greater teledermatology adoption for patients in their homes. Furthermore, greater adoption of teleconsultation amongst the geriatric population and the ability to accurately remote monitor them in homecare settings are some of the factors accountable for the segment’s growth as they eliminate the need to take hospital visits. The increased presence of programs in the key countries in the region, such as the U.S., which includes online dermatology consultations programs by market players, such as the Permanente Medical Group (TPMG), is likely to propel the segment’s market growth.
Healthcare facilities are also estimated to experience considerable growth during the forecast period as hospitals are focusing on introducing teledermatology for the management of their hospital dermatology referrals and introducing a wider patient populace for effective dermatological care.
North America Online Dermatology Consultation Market Size, 2021 (USD billion)
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On the basis of region, the global market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.
North America generated a revenue of USD 1.15 billion in 2021 and is predicted to hold the largest market share in the global market during the forecast period. The rapid acceptance and penetration of online platforms by many healthcare facilities would boost the market growth across the U.S. and Canada. Besides, the increasing presence of large-scale players, such as DermatologistOnCall and MDLive, coupled with strong government in the U.S., is expected to fuel the North America market growth during the forecast period.
Europe is projected to account for a considerable share of the global market and is expected to be the second-largest region. High growth countries, including Germany, Italy, the U.K., and France would contribute to the growth of the market in Europe. Scandinavian countries, including Denmark and Sweden are increasingly adopting newer technologies and advanced teledermatology services; hence, this is expected to lead to higher market growth in the region.
Asia Pacific is projected to experience considerable growth prospects in terms of the global market size during the forecast period. Factors, such as the presence of a favorable government policy for telemedicine services and the increasing demand for teleconsultation in key countries, are expected to propel the market growth. Key countries, such as India and China, are anticipated to hold a significant patient populace who are expected to widely adopt these services over the forecast period.
Latin America is estimated to witness robust growth prospects in the global market during the forecast period. Major countries in the region, including Brazil, are expected to grow at a rapid CAGR due to strong patient population base, increasing adoption of teledermatology in a wide range of healthcare institutions, including hospitals, and shortage of dermatologists to provide specialty care.
The Middle East & Africa would grow at a comparatively lower rate due to limited presence of teledermatology systems in developing countries of Africa and lower reimbursement prospects. However, an increasing number of dermatologists in the region supports the implementation of teledermatology to increase access to dermatological care for majority of the patient population. Thus, the region is expected to witness growth prospects over the forecast period.
Strong Patient Visit Volumes of Companies Such as Teladoc and Doctolib to Ensure Their Competitive Dominance
Some of the key companies dominating the global competitive landscape include Teladoc, Doctolib, and Ping a Good Doctor. The introduction of new teledermatology platforms, combined with a focus on collaborations and partnerships, has been a key driving factor for key industry players to capture a higher global market revenue. The emphasis on R&D for the introduction of advanced communication technologies and the abovementioned factors are some of the major factors that have helped garner a high customer base for the key companies. The growth strategies adopted by the dominating companies in the global market have facilitated the competition in the market.
For instance, Teladoc Health Inc. collaborated with Microsoft for the integration of hospitals and health systems into the Microsoft Teams environment in the fiscal year 2021. This collaboration has facilitated the company to expand its portfolio, owing to wider consumer preference and strengthening physician and patient access to virtual health care. Additionally, other global key players, including Docplanner are highly engaged in establishing their global presence by continuously undertaking strategic initiatives in mergers and acquisitions. Also, American Well (Amwell) focuses significantly on the continuous development of its advanced teleconsultation platforms.
An Infographic Representation of Online Dermatology Consultation Market
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The online dermatology consultation market research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the global market and a detailed analysis of the global market size & growth rate for all segments. Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the global market dynamics, opportunity analysis, and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are the reimbursement and legal aspect overview in key countries, key teledermatology partnerships, estimated number of online dermatology consultations for key countries, state telehealth maturity of key regions, breakdown of global market by medical vs. aesthetics and application, proportion of dermatologists using telemedicine, impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global market, and breakdown of online dermatology consultations by type of physicians.
Value (USD billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.44 billion in 2021 and is reaching USD 7.38 billion by 2029.
In 2021, North America stood at USD 1.15 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 14.9%, the market will exhibit significant growth in the forecast period.
The store-and-forward (asynchronous) segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Growth in the prevalence of dermatological conditions, product launches through teledermatology platforms, and a strong demand for these teleconsultations are some of the key driving factors of the global market.
Teladoc Health Inc. and Doctolib are some of the leading market players in the global market.
North America dominated the market in 2021.
Real-time (synchronous) is expected to drive the adoption of teledermatology.
The increasing need for efficient dermatological care in the general population and robust initiatives for the development of advanced teledermatology platforms are a few of the trends in the global market.
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