What’s Driving Telehealth Growth in 2019?
Why More Companies Are Investing in Digital Healthcare in 2019
The global market for telehealth is growing fast. The industry is expected to reach around $40 billion this year, with a CACR of 25% over the last five years.
Several factors are contributing to the rapid rise of telehealth companies as the industry looks beyond telestroke, remote patient monitoring, and other routine services to explore more aspects of the care delivery system. Specialized fields of care are starting to invest in telemedicine apps and software programs. New features like AI, predictive analysis, and automatic data collection are being used to lower the cost of care. Regulatory agencies are also warming up to the idea of digital healthcare, opening the door for new companies to capitalize on this trend.
Learn what’s driving the growth of telehealth in 2019 and how these changes will benefit the healthcare industry as a whole.
Reducing the Cost of Care
One of the main drivers of the digital healthcare revolution is the need to reduce the cost of care. U.S. healthcare spending grew 3.9% in 2017, reaching $3.5 trillion or $10,739 per person, which accounted for 17.9% of the country’s GPD. These costs will only continue to rise as the Baby Boomers get closer to the age of retirement, raising the cost of care for everyone in the healthcare system.
Telehealth can reduce the cost of care by eliminating the physical barriers that prevent patients from managing their health over time. As patients continue to take advantage of digital services like remote patient monitoring, automatic appointment reminders, and remote physician consulting using live video and audio, patients can use these services to reduce the cost of care and improve their chances of early detection.
According to the American Hospital Association, “By increasing access to physicians and specialists, telehealth can help ensure patients receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time.”
Increasing Regulatory Approval
Federal regulatory agencies like the FDA are starting to approve digital healthcare platforms and services at a faster rate, increasing patient access and competition in the marketplace. In a recent statement, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. encouraged some of the best telemedicine companies to spur innovation in digital health as a way of reducing the cost of care and improving preventative healthcare services. “The new technological paradigm of digital health tools [allows] consumers and providers to supersede the traditional, physical constraints of health care delivery.”
The FDA recently approved several note-worthy telehealth projects, including Pear’s reSET, Proteus/Otsuka’s Abilify MyCite, and WellDoc’s BlueStar. Regulatory approval will increase patient access to these services, making them a fundamental part of the country’s healthcare system.
Improving Patient Engagement
Telehealth is also improving patient engagement when it comes to managing their healthcare needs over time. Instead of waiting for symptoms and illnesses to pop up out of the blue, patients are starting to use digital healthcare tools to proactively manage their health. AI programs and chatbots can assess a patient’s healthcare needs based on their lifestyle habits and previous medical history, helping them stay engaged with the healthcare system.
Automatic appointment reminders, stress-free in-app scheduling tools, and remote physician consultations help patients keep up with their healthcare needs over time. Patients no longer have to cross physical barriers to speak with a healthcare provider, changing the way the average person interacts with and thinks about the healthcare system.
Telemedicine Consolidation for Increased Accessibility
Consolidating the telehealth industry is making these digital services easier to use and more accessible to patients. Instead of spreading out these programs and apps across different specialties within the healthcare system, patients will soon be able to move from one specialist to the next using the same program or app.
Some of the best telemedicine companies are consolidating into larger firms to reduce certain barriers to care. If patients can access all their healthcare information using a single app, they’ll be more likely to use these digital services instead of having to download and use different programs for each aspect of care. This is becoming increasingly important for older patients and senior citizens, many of whom are living with multiple conditions.
25% of Americans have multiple chronic conditions, which last a year or more and require ongoing medical attention and limit activities of daily living. 75% of Americans aged 65 and older are living with multiple chronic conditions. Approximately 71% of the total health care spending in the U.S. is associated with care for Americans with more than one chronic condition. Consolidating the telehealth industry can ease the burden of care for these individuals. Telehealth is changing at a rapid pace; visit InTouch Health to learn more about how telehealth can reduce the cost of care and improve patient engagement.