Did you know that telemedicine saw a monumental 154% surge in adoption in March 2020? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that this rapid telehealth acceleration was largely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact on healthcare. What started as an indispensable tool to deliver quality healthcare during COVID-19 pandemic is now fast becoming a pivotal source of international trade. In the years to come, the range of telemedicine will constantly expand, connecting providers and patients internationally.
Today, telehealth access is a major criterion among consumers when it comes to choosing providers, hospitals, and health systems. As a result, major healthcare providers worldwide are gearing up to outsource their niche via telemedicine. Global investments in the industry are gaining momentum. It is anticipated that providers will increasingly embrace telehealth to boost revenue growth.
Projections based on a research analysis show that the global market for telemedicine industry will rise at a robust 25.8% CAGR during 2020-2027, reaching an annual valuation of USD 396.76 billion by 2027. While the adoption continues to rise at a searing pace, the telehealth landscape will be completely transformed in the near future as AI, IoT, and 5G go mainstream in healthcare.
What is Causing the Industry Boom?
Traditionally speaking, the healthcare sector has been slightly behind in terms of the adoption of digital solutions and advanced technologies. However, the recent COVID-19 crisis has provided the telehealth industry with a much-needed boost. The industry is now constantly attracting new investments. Everest Group predicted that prior to the pandemic, healthcare providers would accelerate their digital IT services spending by nearly 15% by 2025. However, post-COVID-19, much higher investments over a significantly shorter amount of time are expected.
Telemedicine offers a wide array of benefits over conventional healthcare. These include:
- Ease and convenience through tele-consultation and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM).
- Lower healthcare cost owing to lower rate of hospital admissions.
- Rapid and effective healthcare delivery through digital tools such as m-health.
- Easy treatment and follow-up through virtual visits.
The aforementioned factors are resulting in increased adoption among patients of all age groups. Telehealth shows immense promise due to substantial potential in chronic care management, especially among the elderly population base. As adoption rises, developers of telehealth solutions are focusing on improving user experiences and healthcare delivery by introducing new, more advanced features. Continuous improvements in digital health apps, their growing usage among both patients and providers, and expanding scope of application will boost the market in the coming years.
How is Telehealth Evolving to Support Modern Healthcare?
The telemedicine industry landscape is continuously transforming, powered by advanced technologies and significant breakthroughs. The future of the industry is affected by several technologies, 5G being one of the most significant one. The technology will not only enable faster network speeds but also provide higher bandwidths and ultralow latency that can completely transform the telehealth ecosystem.
5G will play a prominent role in delivering remote patient monitoring, medical images, and virtual meetings. Medicines, equipment, and other healthcare supplies can be efficiently used with the help of real-time technology. Other key technologies include IoT, blockchain, and the cloud.
AR/VR are also emerging as revolutionary technologies transforming the telemedicine industry outlook. These technologies enable virtual visits and make healthcare access more convenient. AR/VR holds tremendous potential for supporting various aspects of healthcare delivery from training and educating healthcare professionals to carrying out medical procedures.
Virtual visits streamline healthcare as they allow people to see and talk to their physicians through their smartphone, computer, or tablet, completely eliminating the need for actual doctor visits. Considering the above-mentioned factors, it is expected that telehealth adoption will only surge over the course of the next several years.
How will Technology Investments Power the Industry Progress?
The use of telehealth tools is ever-evolving, from COVID-19 tracking apps to virtual health and wellness trackers. The technology incorporates a shift toward a more effective and patient-centric approach for healthcare. However, despite growing use in many applications, widespread deployment of telemedicine wouldn’t be possible without proper infrastructure to support it.
The industry is witnessing continuous investments. Future investments in technology and knowledge will lead to more efficient applications. Continuous investments would help reduce pressure on the workforce, leading to enhanced care and healthcare delivery.