Telemedicine is one of the most important fields in today's healthcare industry. It plays a key role in the industry's shift towards a more value-based care which helps to cut costs, generate additional revenue and enhance patient satisfaction. Telemedicine has experienced one of the massive growth and deployment in the last decade and has brought about considerable changes to the healthcare industry.
The global telemedicine market is estimated to be worth more than $34 billion by the end of the year 2020. Accounting for almost 40% of this share, North America is the largest telemedicine market globally. Increasing number of chronic diseases, rising aged population, and the software industry boom are the major factors which drive this massive growth in telemedicine.
The number of people using telemedicine and being open to this idea is increasing due to its accessible and convenient nature. Healthcare providers too, see a series of advantages using this method as there are fewer hospital readmissions, satisfied patients, and better revenue generated. Some of the key telemedicine statistics include:
Earlier telemedicine providers had proprietary standards to connect to devices using the internet and conduct a health session. These days there are open connectivity standards that eliminate additional steps to initiate a session. Some of the latest telemedicine trends for 2017 and beyond are listed below:
Healthcare professionals in the telemedicine system often use different EHRs, so integration of electronic records with telemedicine is becoming a norm. As provider-to-provider telemedicine consultations increases, so will the need for patients' EHRs to be seamlessly available to all clinicians involved, whether between provider organizations or within a single healthcare organization.
Telemedicine services will be used to collect the patient information automatically during the telemedicine session. Using this data, patient engagement and patient tracking will be focused in 2017 and beyond. Newer technologies will not only help improve the quality of the telemedicine session, but also improve the treatment and make use of the analyzed data to manage the entire program efficiently.
Many health plans have already started covering telemedicine. On the government front, the coming years will see an increase in the coverage plans for the Medicaid managed healthcare organizations. Healthcare professionals are becoming more open towards using newer payment models apart from the traditional fee-for-service reimbursement.
In the coming years, more and more hospitals and healthcare providers will tie-up with international medical institutions, spreading their healthcare expertise abroad. These overseas partnerships will provide access to more patients, help bolster international brands and generate additional revenue.
Healthcare organizations increasingly want an enterprise-wide telemedicine platform that supports healthcare sessions covering multiple medical conditions such as pediatrics, neurology, emergency care, and behavioral health, among others. The benefits for providers include dealing with a single vendor, single user interface, training material, and applications that can calculate and provide the statistics irrespective of the medical condition.
Doctors and physicians want a telemedicine session which gives a bedside experience for both the patient and the healthcare provider. Apps will be developed which will be compliant with the standard procedures and have the customizability to adjust the way an information is displayed and used by the physician.
In order to offer system architectures and platforms which interact with each other, IT vendors will gladly welcome the open Internet connection protocols. This will enable physicians and patients to communicate in spite of using multiple platforms.
Remote healthcare services have been on the rise for organizations around the world. Telemedicine is used by healthcare providers to diagnose and provide treatment to patients in remote places. Telemedicine has rapidly changed the way in which the doctor would interact with and treat patients. Some of the points to consider while discussing the future of telemedicine include:
More and more people around the world are demanding a proper healthcare for themselves and their loved ones. Having access to the best doctors at your fingertips is important for this demand. Telemedicine services not only benefit the patient but also efficiently manage a doctor's schedule as well. It would be most appropriate to say that telemedicine is the future of healthcare and healing.
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