Health and Pharma: A roundup of global trends and insights for 2022 – Part 1
February 1st, 2023, Bhavika Bansal

Health and Pharma: A roundup of global trends and insights for 2022 – Part 1

As a global data company with more than 22 million registered panellists, YouGov is uniquely positioned to provide the health and pharma industry with comprehensive and up-to-the-minute market insights from more than 45 markets across the world.

Here’s what we uncovered about the health and pharma industry this year:

Adjusting to a post COVID-19 world

Though it began with the threat of the Omicron variant, 2022 was also the year when governments across the world began to relax mask mandates and other pandemic restrictions. However, year-over-year trended data from a global YouGov poll – conducted in 17 markets in 2021 and 18 markets in 2022 – indicated a significant proportion of consumers who still wanted workers and staff across business categories to don the protective gear, especially in the case of food markets and supermarkets (46%).

Given the variability of travel rules and masking requirements from destination to destination, we also polled over 19,000 consumers across 18 international markets on their perceptions of masks being worn by workers in the travel industry.

From appointment booking systems to doctor consultation and reporting platforms, the pandemic helped facilitate a robust online healthcare and health services infrastructure. But more than two years on, there is still much left to be desired: less than a quarter of global consumers (23%) say they are happy with the digital experience provided by health services.

Even though the pandemic begins to loosen its grip, online doctor consultations seem to be here to stay. We asked consumers across 17 markets in 2021 and 18 markets in 2022 how they feel about discussing their health concerns virtually. While, nearly two in ten global respondents (19%) said they are much more comfortable discussing their health concerns virtually, discomfort with having these discussions over the phone or internet also increased from 16% in 2021 to 21% in 2022.

Data security and privacy concerns in mHealth apps

A burgeoning mHealth (mobile health) apps market and rapid digitisation of healthcare services have together paved the way for growing data security and privacy concerns: a large majority of global consumers (76%) say data security is important to them when choosing health apps. However, a YouGov poll conducted earlier in the year paints an alarming picture for hospitals and pharmaceutical brands- just four in ten global consumers (40%) say they trust hospitals with their personal data.

Attitudes towards treatment options

Another by-product of the pandemic is a growing breed of increasingly health conscious and aware consumers having greater awareness of various treatment options and medicine systems available to them. In fact, in a recent study of key global markets, two-fifths of our respondents globally (40%) agreed that they research treatment options before visiting the doctor. Read more to know whether an aversion to hospitals makes people research treatments before consulting a doctor?

Talking about alternative treatment options, traditional medicine like homeopathy is still widely practised in some parts of the world despite modern medicine becoming the mainstream choice. So, we asked adults across 25 global markets if they are open minded about homeopathy/alternative medicine. While almost half of our respondents globally (46%) agreed, a closer look at individual markets revealed some interesting nuances.

Healthcare workers’ feelings and attitudes

Insight into the global health and pharma industry would be incomplete without taking a look at healthcare workers. Are they confident about their career prospects? Does money motivate their choice to work? Are they open minded about alternative medicine? A study of healthcare workers across the US, Great Britain, France, Singapore and the UAE answers these questions and more. Interestingly, despite working in diverse healthcare systems - a mixture of public, private, and combined healthcare systems - healthcare workers in these markets share similar feelings and attitudes in many cases.

Continue reading part 2 of YouGov's health roundup series to explore more topics from the Health and Pharma industry that we covered this year.

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