- In certain rural areas of the country, there are doctor shortages and few specialists to go around. Some patients may have difficulty obtaining transportation to the nearest primary care doctor while physician office hours may conflict with other residents’ schedules. Many individuals end up at the emergency room or urgent care center and leave with a large bill instead of receiving efficient care with a primary care physician. One method that solves many of these issues is telemedicine implementation.
The telehealth market is likely to become more popular among many patient populations as the federal government continues to expand coverage for telemedicine services over the coming years. The company Mordor Intelligence recently published a market research report called Global Telemedicine Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2015-2020), which predicts that the growth of telemedicine implementation will rise to $34.27 billion by the end of 2020.
The report states that North America will hold up the largest market share across the globe and will account for 40 percent of the market size, a company press release explains.
Telemedicine implementation will include using electronic information, telecommunication systems, and patient education resources in order to improve the quality of care and public health outcomes. Some of the basic features of telehealth technology include videoconferencing tools, Internet-based applications, and imaging capabilities.
Telemedicine implementation can be adopted in a wide array of medical specialties including pediatrics, psychiatry, radiology, and cardiology, according to the press release. Health IT systems go hand-in-hand with telemedicine services, as both are geared toward using technology to improve the patient experience and lower healthcare costs.
“Increasing healthcare costs are providing a clear and more efficient way for telemedicine and related applications. Telemedicine holds a great potential for the population aged 60 years and above. The scope of telemedicine is increasing in developing countries because of increasing population and increasing incidence of chronic diseases. Increase in remote monitoring of patients is also expected to propel the market,” the company press release stated.
“However lack of physician support, poor cases of implementation, high technology costs, and legal and reimbursement concerns are hindering the growth of the Global Telemedicine Market.”
As the baby boomer generation continues to age and the rise of chronic medical conditions affects the healthcare industry, more providers will focus their efforts on telemedicine implementation as new technologies become available.
With more hospitals and healthcare organizations attempting to lower the number of hospital readmissions and reduce the length of hospital stay, new telehealth technologies and remote patient monitoring tools will play a role in ensuring these goals are met.
The report also predicts that the global telehealth market will reach $28.9 billion in 2019 and hold a CAGR of 18.6 percent across the coming five years. Dermatology, pathology, and psychology are some other areas in which telemedicine implementation is likely to take hold.
“Telemedicine has revolutionized medicine as it has not only made healthcare more accessible to the rural population but also taken the burden off the overburdened healthcare setup. The hospitals and clinics can cater to the critically ill, while everybody else can get a consult through a simple phone call or by videoconferencing. There are a number of telemedicine startups that are investing in the telemedicine market. The advancing technology has ensured that telemedicine is as good as going to the hospital and physically meeting the doctor. It also ensures that everyone has access to a specialist consult,” the report stated.
“The major driving force for this market is the increasing aged population, rising cost of healthcare, rising prevalence of chronic diseases, and the lack of infrastructure in hospitals to accommodate the large number of patients.”