The telehealth market is immature and volatile, but is rich with potential, report finds

By Catherine Sturman
Providing increased accessibility and eradicating potential delays in healthcare services, telehealth is rising in prominence on an international scale...

Providing increased accessibility and eradicating potential delays in healthcare services, telehealth is rising in prominence on an international scale and boosting patient satisfaction. Its impact in the US is becoming one of interest, where Sage & Partners report, Making the Connection: Is the telehealth market ripe for a boom? looks this exponential growth.

A market research report by Technavio on the global telemedicine market has predicted a CAGR of over 19% during 2018-2022. IBIS has also placed at CAGR of up to 39.9% for the next five years, putting the market at a value of up to $3.5bn by 2020, the report has stated.

Such figures surpass other healthcare markets, even that of healthcare IT and healthcare analytics. This growth has also led the US to establish up to 150 different features of telehealth legislation in 2016 across 44 states.

Upon becoming the President of the United States of America in 2017, Trump has accelerated the ongoing disruption of the healthcare market amongst heightening concerns to dismantle Obamacare, an essential support for those with complex healthcare needs.

Despite this, the implementation of new digital tools has enabled the healthcare to become increasingly patient centered, where payers and providers are beginning to consolidate and work together to deliver increased choice and flexibility more than ever before.

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Population growth has also seen an increased need for services outside of traditional settings, where demand for homecare and new solutions will support those who wish to maintain independence. This has traditionally proved problematic for those in rural locations where services remain limited, but the market is now looking to cater to this growing market through telehealth, whilst looking at further ways to reduce costs.

 “According to the American Medical Association and Wellness Council of America, nearly 75% of doctor, urgent care, and ER visits “are either unnecessary or could be handled safely and effectively over the phone or video,” the report explains.

“Rising healthcare costs that put pressure on providers, payers, and consumers could be alleviated by effective telehealth.”

However, challenges remain with regards to who will ultimately become advantaged financially from the use of telehealth solutions, whether it will be the payer or the provider of care, but the demand for telehealth solutions will lead to increased opportunities.

“There is evidence that payers are embracing cost savings with telemedicine services,” the report adds. “Payers are optimistic about the potential opportunity that telehealth brings, while at the same time waiting to see how further changes in regulatory policy can help facilitate greater adoption.”

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