How COVID-19 Pandemic Accelerated the Global Telemedicine Market

Mon, 01 February 2021 6:32

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:

  • The Upsurge in Demand for Virtual Care: The use of telemedicine and consulting increased over the past decade owing to advantages, such as low cost, convenience, and minimal waiting times. The spread of COVID-19 also significantly boosted the telemedicine market adoption.
  • Increased Reimbursement for Remote Care Services: With the introduction of telemedicine services, there has been a rise in reimbursement for remote care services, especially in North America. Owing to the spread of coronavirus, medicare users can receive various healthcare benefits from their healthcare providers without visiting the healthcare facilities.
  • The Urgency to Minimize Cost of Care: The ever-increasing cost of healthcare facilities is a rising concern, and these costs are expected to continue to escalate owing to the rising geriatric population. Telemedicine is projected to reduce total healthcare costs by eliminating physical barriers that aid people in maintaining their health over time.
  • Growing Regulatory Approvals: Various regulatory authorities, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approve resources and digital health platforms to improve access to patients, especially during a pandemic, while growing competition in the marketplace.

Telemedicine and COVID-19

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

Popular-Telemedicine-Apps

Recent Developments:

  • In July 2020, BioTelemetry the leading remote medical technology firm, acquired On.Demand™, a remote patient monitoring (RPM) and coaching platform, operated by Envolve People Care, Inc., a Centene Corporation subsidiary. This acquisition expands chronic RPM and coaching tools to BioTelemetry's novel portfolio of acute care-based health products and services focused on diabetes, asthma, and chronic heart disease.
  • In June 2020, Philips launched the Avalon CL Fetal and Maternal Pod and Patch for remote monitoring in the U.S., Europe, New Zealand, Singapore, and Australia to support fetal and maternal monitoring.
  • In June 2020, Koninklijke Philips collaborated with American Telemedicine Association (ATA) (the U.S.), aiming to upsurge the adoption of telehealth across acute, post-acute, and home care settings.
  • Telehomecare services are also launched in countries, such as the United Kingdom's Entire Device Demonstrator (WSD) Initiative, the United States' Veterans Health Segmentation (VHA) Project, and the Danish Telecare Network. These telehomecare services manage, minimize and eliminate chronic diseases through direct patient supervision.
  • Zoom has created the industry's first scalable, cloud-based telehealth video service, Zoom for Telehealth, including an interface with the Epic electronic health record framework. Zoom for Telehealth is a common feature set for healthcare companies and providers that facilitates secure, HIPAA-compliant connectivity between organizations, health care teams, and patients.
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