The future of medicine is just a few taps away. Telemedicine is less than 100 years old, but it is developing at an unprecedented pace. From the 1950s onwards, video surveillance systems enabled communication between hospitals. In the 1970s, telemedicine provided medical care to rural communities in Alaska. Healthcare video conferencing skyrocketed in the 1990s and continues to this day. Animal clinics also offer telemedicine. Virtual healthcare has an average annual growth rate of 4.8%. Currently, telemedicine is an industry with more than $ 20 billion in revenue that is projected to reach $ 186.5 billion by 2026.
In 2019, more than 75% of hospitals in the United States were using video services to connect with their patients. COVID-19 has encouraged many to try telemedicine for the first time. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, there were over 1,600,000 telemedicine visits. Right now, 61% of Americans have at least one telemedicine appointment, a threefold increase since March 2020. Now that many have tried, most Americans want telemedicine to continue. 80% believe that telemedicine offers the same quality of care as face-to-face visits, compared to 56% before the pandemic.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine provides remote clinical services and is used to diagnose disease, investigate symptoms, provide low-risk emergency care, provide specialist advice, and provide mental health services. Telemedicine provides remote, non-clinical services and is much broader, including taking medication, helping with chronic illness, and providing physical and professional services. Telemedicine is booming thanks to its many formats. Various virtual health platforms include video calls, mobile health, remote patient monitoring, SMS services, software such as Nurx or BetterHelp, and phone calls.
In addition to increasing popularity, the barriers to telemedicine are being removed. Public skepticism has decreased; The vast majority of studies show that patients today prefer telemedicine to face-to-face visits. 66% of adults are concerned about patient privacy, but consumers are increasingly comfortable with their private medical records in the cloud. There have been concerns about misdiagnosis, but studies show no significant difference between personal and telemedicine diagnoses. In addition, 41% of patients have limited access to the Internet, but federal broadband initiatives are addressing this problem.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine implements many new technologies. Apps and smartphone gadgets like MedWand, a diagnostic tool, and Headspace, a mental health product, are new apps that contribute to general wellbeing. Mail-lin labs for allergies, food intolerance, genetic testing, and testing for COVID-19 are another technology available. Wearable devices such as clothing embedded in sensors and smartwatches can also help patients track their medical needs.
Telemedicine helps those in need with innovative solutions. Holistic health care covers the areas of cardiology, pulmonology and endocrinology. Remote clinical services such as blood pressure monitors, anticoagulation tests, and EKG machines are all tools that help measure various health markers. Currently, 28% of consumers use technology to moderate their health. In addition, telemedicine programs increase access. This healthcare modality can serve high-risk or rural areas, increase healthcare cost parity, help control and diagnose low-incidence diseases, and save patients up to three hours of commuting or about 100 miles of travel time.
82% of Americans say telemedicine has made it easier to get the care they need. Telemedicine has also expanded access to acute care. 59% of Medicare patients have access to a laptop. Telemedicine has also lowered healthcare costs, with savings of 17 to 75%. In addition, by 2050, 22% of the United States population will be over 65 years of age, and telemedicine is helping the elderly population in need of appropriate health care.
What are the advantages of telemedicine?
The advantages of telemedicine are obvious. Telemedicine not only improves access, it also increases patient satisfaction and retention by 81.5%. Telemedicine is more convenient; There is no need to take off work or commute to the doctor’s office. Many feel less anxiety and anxiety when visiting a doctor remotely, which increases convenience. In addition, 31% of patients report that their health care costs have decreased through the use of telemedicine.
Patients now expect their doctors to deliver telemedicine and digital tools. 90% of doctors have experience with remote treatment and 77% would like to switch to telemedicine. Over 75% of patients would consider using telemedicine, and 83% of patients expect to use it after 2020. Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, said, “At a time when the average consumer manages almost all aspects of life online, it goes without saying that healthcare should be as convenient, accessible and secure as online banking. “
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Author: Brian Wallace
Brian Wallace is the founder and president of NowSourcing, an industry-leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH that works with companies ranging from startups to the Fortune 500. Brian also runs #Linkedin local events nationwide and hosts the Next Action podcast. Brian was named Google Small Business Advisor in 2016 to date and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.