The veterinary telehealth market is projected to register a CAGR of more than 19% during the forecast period.
The COVID-19 pandemic is positively influencing the veterinary telehealth market. The interest in veterinary telehealth is increasing during the ongoing crisis. As per a 2020 article by the Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the use of telemedicine has grown to protect and monitor the health of veterinary patients and veterinary teams. In addition, the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) is providing flexibility across FDA-regulated industries and announced that it does not intend to enforce certain requirements that will enable veterinarians to better utilize telemedicine to address animal health needs during the pandemic. Moreover, several healthcare organizations have also launched telehealth services. For instance, in March 2021, a leading integrated healthcare company in India, Practo, announced the launch of a veterinary telemedicine service. Furthermore, in 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the veterinarians minimize their contact with pet owners using telemedicine in the pandemic. Thus, the aforementioned factors are leading to an increase in number of veterinary telehealth services during the ongoing pandemic.
The studied market growth can be largely attributed to increasing pet ownership across the globe, increase in pet healthcare spending and growing prevalence of zoonotic diseases. These factors are contributing to the increasing adoption of veterinary telehealth services.
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Increasing pet ownership worldwide is contributing to the increasing adoption of telehealth services by pet owners. As per the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), about 85 million of the families in the United States own a pet. In addition, according to the Insurance Research Council October 2020 report, nearly one in three Americans adopted a pet during the COVID-19 pandemic owing to the rising preference for companionship. Moreover, as per the 2021 statistics by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA), 3.2 million households in the United Kingdom adopted a pet since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pet owners prefer to access virtual care so that their pets could be seen without the hassle of time and money spent on travel and waiting. Furthermore, pet owners are preferring to access services from veterinarians via telehealth due to restrictions of lockdown, thereby increasing the adoption of veterinary telehealth services. Thus, increasing pet ownership worldwide is contributing to the rising demand for veterinary telehealth services.
Increasing pet healthcare spending across the globe will boost the demand for veterinary telehealth services. The growing concern of owners for their pets is leading to a huge expense made on veterinary care such as routine veterinary care, medications, pet treats and food, grooming, insurance, training, pet sitting, and other services which have surged the adoption of veterinary telehealth services. For instance, according to the statistics by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), in 2020, the United States spent 103.6 billion on pets and it is estimated that USD 109.6 billion will be spent on pets in the United States in 2021. Moreover, as per the North American Pet Health Insurance, the total number of pets insured reached 3.1 million by the end of 2020. Furthermore, as per the 2019 report by Animal Medicines Australia, Australian pet owners spend approximately, USD 2.6 billion per year, a 19% increase from USD 414 million in 2016. According to the same source mentioned above, the Australian population spends USD 745 million on pet insurance. Thus, the huge spending on pet healthcare indicates an increased usage of veterinary telehealth services.
The growing prevalence of zoonotic diseases and chronic animal diseases is also contributing to the huge preference for veterinary telehealth services. As per the 2021 statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that about 1 million cases of illness and millions of deaths occur each year from zoonotic diseases and approximately 60% of emerging infections worldwide are the result of zoonotic diseases. Thus, the rise in infections is compelling pet owners and farm animal owners to adopt telehealth services for improving and monitoring the health of their pets and animals. Moreover, the increasing prevalence of diseases prevalent in the animal population such as chronic kidney diseases and diabetes is leading to widespread adoption of veterinary telehealth services. Thus, the aforementioned factors contribute to the rising demand for veterinary telehealth services.
However, high costs associated with the services and lack of awareness, and accessibility to telehealth services in developing countries are some of the factors hindering the veterinary telehealth market growth.
Key Market Trends
Telemedicine Segment is Expected to Witness a Significant Growth Over the Forecast Period
The telemedicine segment is anticipated to grow significantly owing to the increased internet penetration. Telemedicine is a technology that allows a veterinarian to digitalize radiographically, ultrasound, and microscopic images and send them via fax or the internet to a veterinary specialist for the interpretation providing service without leaving their veterinary hospital. The upsurge in the number of internet users is leading to wider adoption of veterinary telemedicine services. Several market players are also engaged in launching veterinary telemedicine service platforms. For instance, in December 2020, Whiskers Worldwide, LLC, one of the largest pet telehealth providers in North America, announced the plan of launching its proprietary telemedicine service for pet owners in the United States in January 2021. In addition, in July 2020, Zoetis UK announced entered a partnership with telemedicine companies such as Vet-AI and Video With My Vet. The telemedicine platforms follow the developing telemedicine guidelines for the United Kingdom and will enable veterinarians to derive information with the existing client on their smartphones via virtual consultations. Thus, in view of the aforementioned service launches, the segment is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period.
North America is Anticipated to Observe a Significant Growth in the Global Veterinary Telehealth Market
Within North America, the United States has held the major share of the market and expected to dominate over the forecast period. This can be attributed to the factors such as high healthcare expenditure, the strong presence of major market players, technological advancements, and an increase in disposable income. Additionally, the preference for the adoption of pets owing to the need for companionship and lifestyle in the region has urged people in the United States to opt for pet insurance, thereby fueling the utilization of veterinary telehealth services. As per the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), the United States witnessed gross written premiums of USD 1.99 billion in 2020, an increase of 27.5 percent from USD 1.56 billion in 2019. Moreover, the increase in consumption of livestock products is contributing to the high demand for veterinary healthcare in the region, thereby further fueling the demand for veterinary telehealth services. For instance, as per the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2021, the number of cattle and calves in the United States is 93 million approximately. Thus, in view of the aforementioned factors, the veterinary telehealth market in North America is anticipated to grow significantly over the forecast period.
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