According to veterinary industry trends, the use of telemedicine platforms is gaining traction in the animal hospitals and veterinary clinics market during the COVID-19 crisis. Telemedicine refers to the practice of evaluating, diagnosing and treating patients when the provider and patient are not physically present with each other. For instance, in April 2020, Elanco Animal Health Incorporated, an animal health care company, collaborated with VetNOW, a veterinary telemedicine company, to provide a telemedicine platform to veterinarians which allows them to maintain service to animals and owners including specialist consultations during the COVID-19 crisis, as the industry is challenged to find new ways to connect with its stakeholders. This also allows veterinarians to offer practice services to their clients while adhering to social distancing norms and industry practice recommendations.
The global animal hospitals and veterinary clinics market is expected to grow from $91.3 billion in 2019 to $111.2 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%. The increasing penetration of pet insurance is expected to drive the animal hospitals and veterinary clinics market. Globally, the pet insurance market is largely untapped, with extremely low penetration rates providing a large market opportunity. During 2018-2022, the pet insurance market in the USA is expected to grow from $1 billion in 2018 to $2 billion in 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 14%, mainly driven by the increasing consumer awareness and rising disposable income of companion animal owners. Increasing penetration of pet insurance will increase the number of visits at animal hospitals and veterinary clinics, thereby driving the market.
Health professionals across the globe have been working tirelessly to combat the coronavirus that is affecting many countries and leaving behind economic complications in its wake. Veterinarians, who were deemed essential workers by governments, are also experiencing a surge in demand of their services as pet adoptions are on the rise during this difficult period. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus is primarily transferred from person to person, and there is no evidence yet of transmission between companion animals or pets. Due to worldwide lockdown, animal lovers are showing interest in adopting pets who might otherwise be neglected during the pandemic. Additionally, as more and more people are in isolation, the companionship of a pet will provide emotional and mental support to many families. Appeals and social media campaigns have helped increase adoption rates of animals, especially in the US, where animal shelters around the country have seen a significant increase in dog and cat adoptions. For example, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) saw a 70% increase in fosters from their New York City and Los Angeles programs.
The unprecedented outbreak of coronavirus is expected to limit the growth of the animal hospitals and veterinary clinics market in the forecast period. COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease that spreads when a person comes in contact with an infected person or a surface used by the infected person. To prevent the spread of the virus, governments across the world have implemented lockdown, and advised people to practice social distancing. Many countries have placed restrictions on inter-country and intra-country movement. This has halted economic activity and is expected to slow down the global economy in the future. Economic meltdown might discourage pet owners from spending on non-emergency services such as routine veterinarian visits, etc. These factors will hamper the growth of the market for animal hospitals and veterinary clinics in the forecast period.
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