Telemedicine is a tool also referred as “e-health” or “telehealth” allows health care specialists to diagnose, evaluate and treat patients in remote locations through telecommunication technology. Telemedicine lets patients access all medical facilities quickly, efficiently in remote locations. With telemedicine system, patients and doctors can share information in real-time from one computer to another. Telemedicine service makes the use of electronic devices and software to provide healthcare services to patients at different locations. This technology is frequently used for management of chronic diseases, follow-up visits, specialist consultation, medication management, and other services which can be provided through secure video and audio communication.
They also can capture and see readings through electronic devices at a remote location. Telemedicine has a number of applications and it can be used for several services such as email, wireless tools, smartphones, two-way video, and others. Telemedicine service has grown very rapidly. It has become an integrated part of hospitals, specialty departments, home health care, private doctor offices, and end-user’s residence. The services or products of telemedicine are part of the highest investment of healthcare settings, through their method of providing healthcare or information technology. Consultation through video conferencing may include electronic transmission of digital pictures, patient portals, call centers, wireless applications for customers, continuing medical education, and other applications are considered as a part of telemedicine or telehealth.
What services are delivered through Telemedicine?
- Primary health care and related services for specialist care could need consultation between primary care professional and their consultation with the specialist of the patient. This may happen through live video or with telemedicine service to save and send diagnostic images, video with patient’s data, and other.
- Patient monitoring at different locations, which comprises home health services. Electronic devices used to save and forward patient information remotely to the home health service or diagnostic testing service. The information may contain the patient’s vital signs, such as ECG information, blood tests, or any other diagnostic information of a patient. The services delivered through telehealth supplement services offered by visiting nurses.
- Medical and health information for customers may comprise the use of electronic devices or the internet, that let consumers access health related information and online discussion groups to engage in end-to-end support.
Applications of Telemedicine
- Chronic Disease Management
With innovative medical devices, doctors can now able to monitor their patient’s health over the remote location. Touchscreen technology lets physicians to access heart rate, glucose levels, blood pressure, and more health information from one device to other.
- Medication Management
Many times it happens that older adults are forget to take their medicines, for such instance, telemedicine technology plays an important role which monitors whether patient took their medicines or not. As a result, it increases medication compliance.
- Sharing Medical Information
Save and forward, a form of telemedicine which allows providers to share health related information over remote locations. Now, primary health care physicians can communicate with specialists who are located in another place. Healthcare information such as blood analysis, diagnostic images, and others can be shared one physician to other for proper patient treatment in real time.
Coverage and Cost
Telemedicine service provides number of payment models to pay treatment fees. For example, some healthcare services provide telemedicine consultation based on government reimbursement schedules and insurance plans.
Benefits of Telemedicine
- Saves time
- No travel expenses
- Improved office efficiency
- Increased revenue
- Improved health outcomes
- Fewer missed appointments
- Private payers reimbursement
The global telemedicine market size is expected to grow from xx USD billion to xx USD billion at a CAGR of xx% during the prediction period. Rising demand for digital health platforms is the major factor triggering the global telemedicine market growth. The increasing adoption of video consulting is one of the major trend impacting the growth of telemedicine market. Due to the decreasing cost of smart devices and the rising penetration of the Internet, end-users can easily consult doctors at their convenience without a face-to-face meeting.
Video consulting is growing acceptance as it is convenient for both doctors and patients. It helps in saving cost as well as time, and is hugely beneficial in offering special care in emergency conditions and ensure patient survival.
The global telemedicine market is segmented on the basis of type, service, applications, specialty, and geographical regions. By type, the market is classified as tele-hospital and tele-home. Amid these, the tele-home segment is expected to be the highest growing over the forecast period. Based on the service, this market has been sub-segmented into tele-monitoring, tele-consulting, tele-training, tele-education, and others. In between these, the tele-consulting segment accounted for the largest share during the prediction period. Based on specialty, the market is classified as gynecology, dermatology, neurology, orthopedics, cardiology, and others.
Some of the other major players in the telemedicine market are InTouch Technologies Inc., Aerotel Medical Systems Ltd., AMD Global Telemedicine Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., OBS Medical Ltd., Cerner Corporation, and others.