The growth of the medical second opinion market is mainly attributed to the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, growing emphasis on superior treatment outcomes, and rising focus on healthcare cost optimization. However, the lack of awareness and reluctance toward opting for medical second opinions in emerging nations restrains the growth of the market.
Increasing emphasis on achieving better treatment outcomes drives the growth of the second medical opinion market. Many treatment procedures are known he have high possibility to be associated with adverse effects, which might as well lead to mortality. Hence, in crucial cases, revising the current treatment alternatives and getting advice from another reliable healthcare professional to avoid possible ill-effects becomes essential. According to a study published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019, unsafe medical care causes ~2.6 million deaths each year in the low- and middle-income countries. Such large extent of lethality is anticipated to encourage consumers to opt for medical second opinion. According to a study published by the John Hopkins University, in 2018, in the US, ~250,000 deaths are caused due to medical errors each year.
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According to a study published in Annals of Surgical Oncology in 2018, there is great emphasis on getting medical second opinion to increase the accuracy of cancer diagnosis and therapeutics. According to the WHO data, in 2018, ~9.6 million patients across the globe lost their lives due to the occurrence of cancer. In addition, the growing exposure to risk factors such as consumption of tobacco, excessive alcoholism, unhealthy diet, and obesity is further projected to elevate the prevalence of cancer. Thus, an increasing prevalence of cancer, combined with more number of cancer patients seeking for second opinion, would be a prominent factor to drive the growth of the medical second opinion market during the forecast period.
Based on disorders, the medical second opinion market is segmented into cancer, orthopedic disorders, cardiac disorders, neurological disorders, nephrological disorders, hematologic blood disorders, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), organ transplant, and other diseases. The cancer segment held the largest share of the market in 2019. However, the market for orthopedic conditions is estimated grow at the highest CAGR in the market during the forecast period.
Patients across the globe are witnessing growing financial burdens imposed by healthcare services. Increasing healthcare-associated costs due to the overall shortage of healthcare professionals and limited availability of resources are generating need for healthcare cost optimization worldwide. Also, growing emphasis on the reduction of additional costs and increasing awareness about the possible exploitation from healthcare organizations, especially in low- and middle-income countries, significantly drive the second medical opinion market. The consumers can avail extensive information from medical second opinions while making the necessary decisions about surgery or the main case. In addition, medical second opinion providers review the recommendations for surgical procedures on the basis of additional medical diagnosis, analysis of existing medical records, and assessment of other therapeutic solutions as an alternative for surgery. These aspects of the second opinion can result in reduction of therapeutic cost. Further, second opinion on surgical decisions can also result in reduction in possible surgical adversities, which can lead to additional healthcare-related costs.
For instance, according to a study published by the World Health Organization in 2019, ~25.0% patients around the world suffer from complications in surgical procedures. Moreover, ~1 million people die during surgery or during follow-up of the same each year.
Increasing number of errors in medical billing is also one of the prominent factors responsible for the growth of the market. For instance, according to a study published by the Medical Billing Advocates of America in 2019, an estimated 80.0% of medical bills contain at least one error. Further, problems in medical billing errors cost a total of ~US$ 210 billion each year in the US. These possibilities and occurrences of financial errors are projected to accelerate the growth of the medical second opinion market by 2027.
Service Providers-Based Insights
Based on service provider, the medical second opinion market is segmented into hospitals, health insurance companies, and online services. The hospitals segment held the largest share of the market in 2019; however, the market for online services is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
Product launches and approvals are the commonly adopted strategies by companies to expand their global footprints and product portfolios; these strategies help them meet the growing consumer demand. Collaboration is one of the major strategies adopted by the medical second opinion market players to enlarge customer base worldwide, which also permits them to maintain their brand name globally.
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