The pandemic will accelerate the adoption of telemedicine, digital reality headsets and cloud solutions

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The percentage of video visits to doctors will rise to 5% of the total appointments globally in 2021, up from an estimated 1% in 2019, according to the latest edition of Deloitte Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions, which translates into more than 400 million video visits with a total worth of about US$25 billion only in the 36 countries members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), according to Deloitte calculations. In addition, the report estimates that the market focused exclusively on telehealth virtual visit solutions will reach US$8 billion in 2021 and that the sales of medical health care technology such as therapeutic and monitoring solutions, which can include medically approved consumer products such as smart watches, will hit more than US$33 billion in 2021, up almost 20% over 2019.

“One year ago, the world was facing one of the most disruptive challenge of modern history, which initially slowed down the production of key global players and impacted the market globally. What then appeared like a shutdown actually prepared the way for acceleration, in just few months, of processes that would have been implemented in years. In Romania, trends such as telemedicine, a field which has a new legislative framework as of the end of 2020, favoring investments, might get even more traction in the future than it had before the pandemic,” said Andrei Ionescu, Partner-in-Charge Management Consulting and Risk Advisory, Deloitte Romania.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market for digital reality headgear is growing as immersive technologies gain popularity in the enterprise and for education. The report estimates that sales for enterprise and educational use of wearable headsets for virtual, augmented and mixed reality—collectively known as XR or digital reality—will grow by 100% in 2021 over 2019 levels. With the pandemic accelerating the opportunity to demonstrate their value, digital reality headsets may continue to gain ground after the pandemic ends due to a variety of other benefits, such as lower cost, greater safety and better learning retention, the process by which new information is transferred from short-term to long-term memory.

Deloitte TMT Predictions also highlights that sales of 8k TVs are likely to reach US$ 3.3 billion in 2021, and by the end of the year, multiple sources of content generation will be available for these devices, among which game consoles,  smartphone applications for photography or streaming platforms, such as Netflix, which are already producing shows in 8K.

When it comes to cloud, Deloitte TMT Predictions underline that, by some metrics, the market grew even faster in 2020 than in 2019 and estimate that revenue growth will remain above 30%, similar to 2019 levels, for 2021 through 2025, as companies migrate to the cloud to save money, become more agile and drive innovation. The report also points out that hybrid cloud, a combination of private and public cloud or public cloud with on premise resources, is the new normal, as more than 90% of global enterprises will rely on it by 2022 and 97% of IT managers plan to distribute workloads across two or more clouds in order to maximize resilience, meet regulatory and compliance requirements and leverage the best services from each provider. The report also estimates that the market of everything as a service (XaaS), enabled by the cloud, will be on the rise, as the forecasts even pre-COVID-19 predicted a five-year annual growth rate of 24%, resulting in a market of  over US$340 billion by 2024.

Hyperscale cloud providers, companies which have the global scale, the deep expertise and the broad range of services needed to take cloud value to the next level, along with telecommunications companies and their expanding 5G networks, are driving a rise of the global market for the intelligent edge, which refers to the combination of advanced wireless connectivity, compact processing power and AI located near devices that use and generate data. In 2021, the global market for the intelligent edge will reach $12 billion, continuing to grow annually by 35%, and by 2023, 70% of enterprises may likely run some amount of data processing at the edge, according to the report.

Deloitte’s annual TMT Predictions provides an outlook on key trends in the technology, media and telecommunications industry sectors worldwide. This year, the report highlights the topics that were shaped to some extent by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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