How Covid-19 has affected the healthcare market


The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the healthcare industry, and dental practices have been no exception. Studies have shown that the global dentistry market has declined from 451.2 billion in 2019 to 340.8 billion in 2020, a staggering -24.5 percent in the compound annual growth rate. Even after reopenings began, many dental practices observed a significant decline in the number of patients, and some have chosen to explore different options.

The American Dental Association’s (ADA) on-going survey indicates that the dental industry has been heavily impacted and is still in the process of recovery. This is due to the lingering threat of the coronavirus; however, the ADA predicts that as mass vaccination distribution continues, dental practices will eventually see a full economic recovery, and is projected that the global dentistry market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7 percent from 2021, reaching 582.7 billion by 2023.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the valuation of dental practices has taken a significant toll as well. However, it should be noted that this has impacted not only dentistry, but many other industries as well, and as a result, most buyers will factor out this one-time event in assessing future earnings potential. The real question is if dental practices will be able to effectively recover from the pandemic, and as we are currently seeing a fast recovery of the overall industry, it looks like this will indeed be the case.

Past recessions have also indicated that recessions have a far less impact on dental practices on average than the vast majority of other businesses, which is one of the main reasons it sparked so much interest from investors. While we still have a long way to go before we find out, buyers remain confident that the impact on dental practices will be minimal. It is true that some things may never go back to the way things were before the pandemic, but it is also certain that people will adapt to the new norm as time passes.


The once estimated projection of 2.3 percent annual compound growth of the dermatology market has significantly slowed down, and the consolidation race that has been previously growing for the past decade has seemingly deescalated. This is none other than the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. Practices across North America, as well as across the world have been forced to shut down, and despite their efforts to careful reopenings and adaptation to new technology, they are still experiencing a major cut back in the number of patient visits.

From the past and most recent recession in 2007 to 2009, we saw that despite the effect on many other industries, the dermatology market has continued to grow at a 2.1 percent annual compound growth rate. However, in our current recession, we have seen that the pandemic has had a much different effect. This is due to the pandemic having a direct effect on the consumer market, where just like business owners, consumers are not able to move freely as they used to. Although the number of Covid-19 cases has significantly dropped and stay-at-home orders have been lifted in most areas, people still have residual perturbation.

Despite the current uncertainty, investors remain confident that the dermatology market will recover as more and more people start to adapt to the new normal life. As dermatologists have embraced new methods to connect with their patients through virtual health platforms and telehealth services, the global dermatology treatment devices market is expected to reach an estimated $8.8 billion by 2027, a 6.7% increase from 2020. Having said that, as the aging population and the easy access to dermatology professionals continues to grow, it is projected that the dermatology market will grow systematically.


The optometry sector has always been an essential part of the healthcare industry that continues to grow. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, the optometric industry was no different than any other healthcare industry.

In a recent published article, it states that the projected compound annual growth rate of 4.3 percent has dropped to 3.8 percent from 2020 to 2027. This 0.5 percent change might not sound like a lot, but it does indicate that the pandemic has had and will continue to have an effect on the optometry market. However, despite that being said, as investors are viewing the pandemic as a one-time event, they are using the wait and see approach to see how the market will react after the pandemic.

With the presence of Covid-19 pandemic, optometrists have been quickly adapting and embracing various application and improvising through these difficult times. As an example, an estimated 65 percent of optometry practices will be implementing telehealth and telemedicine measures to reach patients in a safer way. With the optometry equipment market expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.8 percent from 2021 to 2026, it is only expected that it will help the overall market recover from this recession.

With over 64 percent of the global population wearing glasses, it doesn’t seem likely that the optometry sector will fail anytime soon. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that due to the high increase in the aging population, as well as in chronic sight-threatening disease, there will be a 4 percent growth in the number of optometrists from 2019 to 2029. In addition, as the fashion industry has taken a big part in the optometry sector, where it seems like new trends come and go quicker than ever, it looks like the demand for optometrists will only grow in the near future.

Physical Therapy

The physical therapy sector has been a highly fragmented sector within the healthcare industry that has been gaining significant attention from outside investors for the past decade. With the increasing number of the aging population, cases of accidents, as well as awareness about the importance of physical therapy, the market was expected to grow a compound annual growth rate of 6.15 percent from 2020 to 2027. In addition, BLS projected that the number of physical therapists will grow 18 percent from 2019 to 2029, a much faster rate than any other sector in the healthcare industry. However, despite past projections, the physical therapy sector has also had a profound impact due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Like most healthcare industry workers, physical therapists’ demand for hands-on care has significantly dropped, where it resulted in a steep decline in the industry revenue. In a recent survey conducted by the American Physical Therapy Association, it was reported that during the first few months of the pandemic, 72 percent of practice owners have experienced a loss in revenue more than 50 percent. Even after reopenings began, more than 50 percent reported that they have been experiencing a revenue drop of 26 to 50 percent. Since then this number has dropped, but practice owners are still experiencing low patient volumes compared to the pre-pandemic phase.

However, this hasn’t stopped physical therapists from looking into other options to continue treating patients. With the increasing number of physical therapists embracing telehealth, the telerehabilitation market is expecting a 13.4 percent compound annual growth rate to reach 9.13 billion from 2020 to 2027. This only goes to show that this will enhance the market growth of the overall physical therapy industry. In the upcoming years to follow, it is said that telehealth will become a staple in the overall physical therapy, where practice owners will continue to implement these strategies in the long run. Although it is much too early to come to a conclusion, it is projected that there will be a full economic recovery within the industry by 2023.

About Dwek Capital

Dwek Capital is a private equity and advisory firm that specializes in the healthcare sector: dentistry, dermatology, optometry, physiotherapy and veterinary. We work with leading healthcare groups across North America to provide them with the best opportunities out there. If you are a practice owner that is looking to sell your practice and would like to learn more about some of the opportunities currently available, please contact us at and our partners or associates would be happy to give you a free consultation.

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