Telemedicine was never a part of the standard medical procedure earlier. However, over the last 3 to 5 years, the trends of the healthcare market transitioned to direct-to-consumer telemedicine services, which gained tremendous traction from both investors and patients.
In the U.S. itself, more than 32 states have passed internal regulations to provide for better parity in telemedicine. The United Kingdom and Canada are also set to join the suit. Upon formation, this legislation can allow doctors to be reimbursed by private payers for telemedicine visits at a rate equivalent to in-person visits. The regulation will not only benefit the doctors but also accelerate the adoption and spread of telemedicine technologies. Considering stringent regulations and services that restrict patients to book appointments from a single practitioner, such improvements can be an advantage. The state of Michigan in the USA recorded a 77.5% rise in telemedicine experiences after encouraging service parity in telemedicine.
The importance of telemedicine continues to grow due to its potential of decreasing healthcare costs, enhancing patient’s access to healthcare facilities and records, enhancing the level of care offered to the patients, and promote the management, storing, and sharing of health-related information. Increased life expectancy and the resulting increase in chronic diseases have impacted the development of telemedicine. Patients, family members, and healthcare providers consider telemedicine technology as easy-to-use and are pleased with the services offered. As telemedicine is becoming widely-accepted, insurance firms and government-administered health care programs progressively are stepping up to cover it in their policies.
Telemedicine increases access to treatment by allowing remote patients to access hospital facilities, including emergency and intensive care services. It also improves health outcomes by allowing patients to get early diagnosis and treatment, thus saving hospital costs. ICUs assisted by telehealth have also resulted in lowered death rates, injuries, and hospital stays.
Factors Boosting the Telemedicine Market
Several factors affect the worldwide demand for telemedicine. Some of the factors accelerating the demand for telemedicine are:
Telemedicine and COVID-19
The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the use of telemedicine systems, significantly changing both patient and provider practices. The initial six months of the COVID-19 pandemic have placed the telemedicine providers, such as Teladoc Wellness, Amwell, MDLive, and SOC Telemed on the frontline and positioned them as key parts of emerging virtual health solutions.
Teladoc recently announced a USD 18.5 billion agreement to buy Livongo, a firm focusing on remote monitoring and virtual health services for diabetes and associated health concerns. Amwell, MDLive, and SOC Telemed are accessing public markets to expand financing and the opportunity to use the stock as an investment currency. So, watch for these businesses to be successful acquirers.
Apart from Big Tech, several private telemedicine firms might be acquisition targets to boost the connection of Big Tech to the healthcare provider market. These Involve companies such as Doctor on Demand, Crossover Health, 98point6, and HealthTap. Amazon recently announced an agreement with Crossover Health to offer healthcare services to its personnel and health centers in the proximity of its facilities and operations. This could probably be a gateway to a larger potential for acquisition.
Currently, companies such as CVS and Amazon have branched into home delivery of prescriptions and home-use medical equipment, while automated assistants, such as Google Home and Amazon's Alexa are used for chronic condition treatment and care planning.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a high-speed trend towards interactive trips. Providers currently record 50 to 175 times more patients online than they did before COVID-19, according to the McKinsey & Company survey. Telemedicine applications are normally free, easy-to-use, and available on mobile devices.
Popular Telemedicine Apps