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Tele-primary care penetration across Europe

With Swiss-provider Medgate recently moving into Germany and UK-based Babylon given the greenlight to expand beyond the country’s capital, HBI looks at how far telehealth has so far penetrated primary care across Europe.

Penetration remains highest in Switzerland, where in 2018 telehealth delivered around 7% of primary care. The vast majority of that care is delivered by Medgate in conjunction with the country’s statutory insurers. We hear that the company is expecting 30% growth in Switzerland in 2019.

The second highest level of penetration is in Sweden, where around 3% of primary care was delivered by KRY and a further 1% by Min Doktor.

Both countries have telehealth payor models that allow services to be reimbursed on a nationwide basis – the biggest factor in determining penetration levels.

Elsewhere in Europe penetration remains low nationwide, despite companies having higher penetration levels in the smaller regions in which they operate.

In the UK, for instance, Babylon has around 45k registered patients but it has, up until now, only been allowed to operate from one general practice in London. KRY, which has rebranded as Livi in the UK, has a contract with local health authority North-West Surrey CCG. No telehealth company operates on a nationwide-basis.

HBI expects telehealth penetration to grow in UK as a result of Babylon’s proposed expansion but doesn’t see Germany reaching significant levels of penetration until it implements reimbursement from the country’s statutory insurers.


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