Telemedicine offers patients the chance to meet with a doctor, 24/7, without leaving home. But many physicians are wary of participating because they can’t peer into patients’ ears, look down their throats or listen to their lungs remotely.
A new genre of home diagnostic devices aims to address those concerns by giving patients some of the same tools that doctors use during in-office exams. Think part Star Trek Tricorder, part Harry Potter Extendable Ear.
2. Telemedicine Market to reach US$36.30 bn by 2020; Growth Spurred by High Personal Healthcare Demand
The valuation of the global telemedicine market was recorded at US$14.30 bn in 2014. After a forecasted progression at a CAGR of 14.30% between 2014 and 2020, this market is expected to reach US$36.30 bn in 2020, according to a market intelligence study published by Transparency Market Research. The report, titled “Telemedicine Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 – 2020,” highlights the key trends, opportunities, and challenges of this market in the given forecast period, thus providing users with valuable knowledge for the purpose of strengthening their position in this market.
Telemedicine — the ability to access a physician or other health care provider remotely — is becoming an integral part of health care, and an attractive option for many patients looking not only for medical expertise, but for convenience and cost savings as well.
Health insurers are increasingly offering telemedicine as an added benefit in medical plans as a way for members to connect remotely with medical providers, including doctors, psychologists and lactation consultants. These providers can be accessed easily via voice or video, on a mobile device, tablet, or laptop.
Technology allows us access to a wealth of information on a 24/7 basis and telemedicine extends that reach to include real-time communication with health care professionals. Telemedicine is growing regarding reach and usage, making general health care and specialty services easier to access while saving money.
From primary care visits to specialist referral services to remote patient monitoring, the future of telemedicine is here. Telehealth is a part of the healthcare delivery system that is growing fast and will undoubtedly be a large part of how healthcare is provided in the future.
There are many ways telemedicine is delivered, but with the growing popularity of mobile health (mHealth), this type of healthcare at your fingertips will soon be available to all.
As doctors gradually shift priorities to provide care with an emphasis on value over volume, the ability to expand care boundaries to meet patient needs will be critical. To that end, telemedicine represents a natural, inevitable and necessary evolution of care, speakers said Thursday during a session at the American Telemedicine Association’s annual fall forum in New Orleans.
“I’m not sure who took a horse and buggy here today,” said Andrew Watson, the medical director of UPMC Telehealth and a practicing colorectal surgeon. “I cannot remember the last time I actually hand wrote a letter. … The discussion we’re having today about telehealth is in the context of if technology were to stop, which we know that it will not at all.”
Telemedicine has been around now for almost twenty years, so why is it not as common as sliced bread in late 2016? To be fair, the practice is growing, just not as fast as some would expect or even demand. Delivering healthcare to remote locations is hardly a new concept. Technology advances in both healthcare and telecommunications have resulted in significant strides and evolving ways to deliver care.
It’s clear that effectively harnessing the full breadth and depth of telemedicine’s capabilities, in fact, can impact healthcare for millions of people, especially those in more remote communities and regions.
Electronic eye exams could become popular in the U.S. among patients who see them as an easy way to visit the eye doctor, a press release from the University of Michigan Health System notes.
After a nationwide telemedicine diabetic screening program in England and Wales, for example, diabetic retinopathy is no longer the leading cause of blindness there. Similar e-health programs could grow stateside, where diabetic retinopathy remains the main driver of new-onset blindness. But it hasn’t been known if patients would participate.
The Justice Department and FTC told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to ignore the medical board’s appeal of Teladoc’s case that prevents the board from implementing a rule that curbs telemedicine practices in the state, saying the court doesn’t have the authority to review the decision and the rule itself should be thrown out.
In 2015, the Texas Medical Board passed a rule requiring physicians to meet with a patient in person before treating them remotely, or they would need to have another provider physically present for telemedicine visits. But federal regulators said in their amicus brief Friday that the rule wasn’t appropriately reviewed and the board could be biased, echoing Teladoc’s arguments against the rule, which they say threatens its business model.
A state Senate panel Monday unanimously approved legislation that would regulate the growing field of telemedicine, the virtual interaction between a patient and a doctor.
Telemedicine is not new and is available already. But the popularity and interest in this alternative form of a doctor visit is growing for the convenience it provides for people who do not live near a doctor or cannot get to a doctor’s office because of health limitations or a lack of transportation.