Telemedicine first for healthtech deal volume in SE Asia

Female doctor looking at a laptop

Telemedicine takes the lead in healthcare deals in Southeast Asia, dominating both volume and capital raised. According to a new DealStreetAsia report, telemedicine startups secured the most deals and funding between January 2020 and September 2023, with 70 transactions totaling US$552 million. The sector peaked in the third quarter of 2021, attracting nearly US$100 million in private capital.

The State of Healthtech in SE Asia 2023 report, which focuses on equity investments in venture-backed healthtech companies in Southeast Asia from 2020 to 2023, as well as M&A activities in the region, attributes telemedicine’s dominance to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it spurred a rapid shift towards remote healthcare solutions. It also highlights the promising potential of telemedicine in bridging the healthcare access gap, especially in rural areas of Southeast Asia.

Further fueling telemedicine’s potential in the region are ongoing advancements in AI and big data, which hold promise for innovations in diagnostics, personalised care plans, and health insurance accessibility.

Additionally, the report highlights the significance of regulatory reforms in telemedicine and digital health data in providing a framework for sustainable growth in the healthtech sector. International cooperation within the region, potentially involving mergers and acquisitions with international players, is also expected to play a role in the future of healthtech in Southeast Asia.

While telemedicine dominates in deal volume, curative technologies like include gene-editing are ahead in proceeds raised, the report continues. Its potential is enhanced by Southeast Asia’s supportive ecosystem which spurs innovation and facilitates the transition from lab research to clinical application.

Investments in healthcare IT meanwhile are enabling the transition to smart, interconnected health systems in Southeast Asia and a more patient-centric approach to healthcare delivery in the region.

On the whole, Southeast’s Asia healthcare transformation remains promising, owing to factors that include a youthful population, sustained middle-class expansion, increasing health awareness, and continued policy reforms.

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