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Telemedicine is expected to be worth at least $34 billion globally by the end of 2020, according to a report published by Mordor Intelligence. North America accounts for more than 40 percent of the global market share, the largest market share in the world. Such predictions, however, do not even account for the broader telehealth market we could see in five years’ time.
As defined by the report, telehealth is a comprehensive term that encompasses telemedicine but has a larger reach. Telehealth includes the “use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical healthcare, patient and professional health-related education, public health, etc.” The report goes on to state that “the various technologies involved are videoconferencing, the internet, and store-and-forward imaging.”
Telemedicine, more specifically, refers to “remote clinical services,” as opposed to the broader term, which also applies “to remote nonclinical services which include provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education.”
Today, the North American market is in the midst of a healthcare provider shortage. This shortage is exacerbated by a growing and ageing population and an increase in chronic diseases, leading to greater difficulties for individuals who need access to quality healthcare services. Telemedicine is now a solution that can be applied across healthcare sectors to help meet these barriers.
From addressing rural healthcare issues, monitoring the in-home health of the elderly, or bringing on-site healthcare to schools, telemedicine leaps over the barriers of traditional healthcare. Telehealth addresses common challenges to obtaining healthcare services, such as lack of transportation, regular medication adherence, and the expense and oversight needed to treat multiple chronic illnesses. Telemedicine consultations are a quick and convenient way for patients to connect virtually in real-time with physicians, physician assistants (PAs), and nurse practitioners (NPs).
The global telemedicine market has increased in recent years for very similar reasons. Telemedicine enables primary care and specialist providers to monitor patients remotely, even if these patients are located in medically underserved areas of the world.
Ultimately, telemedicine, and telehealth overall, is an exponentially growing market with no real signs of slowing down. Hospitals, clinics, universities, private practices — all have been able to use telehealth systems to better serve their patient populations.
For more information on the benefits of telehealth, and how telehealth systems could benefit your organization, please visit BartonTelehealth.com.