- A major issue within the healthcare system throughout the United States is the lack of efficiency. However, video-based telehealth solutions could be the answer to this problem, according to an article from The Wall Street Journal. There are a variety of issues that telemedicine could solve. For instance, there are individuals who have to leave work early to see their primary care doctor in order to obtain a prescription or a drug refill, which also leads to excessive travel especially if the medical practice is far away.
Additionally, many people who have a cough or fever may end up going to the emergency room or urgent care center if their primary care doctor’s office hours don’t meet their schedule. However, video-based telehealth solutions could offer patients a new method for diagnosing and treating minor medical problems.
A number of people across the country are living with shortages of primary care physicians, which makes video-based telehealth solutions even more vital among certain populations living in rural areas, The Wall Street Journal explains.
Primary care doctors seem to reside more in urban areas and patients living in rural areas are more likely to travel to emergency rooms to obtain their care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 136 million people received healthcare services in emergency rooms in 2011. These skyrocketing amounts could be reduced with the help of video-based telehealth solutions. For instance, one study from the University of Rochester uncovered that 28 percent of visits to a pediatric emergency room were due to ear infections or sore throats, which could potentially be diagnosed via telemedicine.
Along with these issues, the number of baby boomers are aging rapidly and increasing the size of the elderly population – a key segment of the patient base throughout the healthcare industry. Instead of forcing these patients to sit in a waiting room and travel to their doctor’s office, it may be more beneficial for physicians to use smart phones and video-based telehealth solutions to offer services like drug refills to elderly patients.
“Home care of individuals with major chronic conditions would also substantially benefit from telemedicine. Millions of houses have cable and satellite connections that can be used to monitor patients wearing wireless devices, allowing health professionals to intercede at the first sign of trouble,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Millions of Americans live in areas that are short of primary-care doctors, and millions more go to the emergency room when they have a sore throat. Entrepreneurs have responded by creating methods of connecting patients to doctors remotely, which reduces costs and satisfies patients.”
The digital marketing firm Rosemark Capital has taken part in advancing telemedicine services by partnering with Doctor On Demand, a video-based telehealth solutions provider, according to a company press release.
“What an exciting time to become part of the Doctor On Demand growth story,” Chris Kuenne, Rosemark’s Founder and Managing Partner, said in the release. “We’re delighted to bring Rosemark’s expertise in user engagement to help accelerate trial, use and adoption of this enhanced form of medical care.”
The telemedicine segment of the healthcare industry is continually advancing and growing in size. A report from Goldman Sachs shows that the telehealth market will increase to $12 billion in the primary care segment, which should lead to significantly lower healthcare costs. As much as $100 billion of healthcare spending could be reduced annually, the Goldman Sachs report finds.
As new technologies become available throughout the healthcare field over the coming years, the telemedicine market is expected to blossom and continue improving the quality and efficiency of care across the nation.