Importance of Telemedicine and Telehealth Services in the Times of Corona

12 November 2020

Adoption of digital technology in healthcare is not really a new concept, however, the COVID-19 outbreak at beginning of 2020 created a new wave of appreciation for telemedicine, telehealth, remote health, and virtual consultation. According to Harvard Health Publishing, presently in the US around 76% of the hospitals remotely connected doctors and patients through telehealth services, which was 35% about a decade ago. Telehealth services moved from being an emerging trend in the healthcare industry to an essential service during the coronavirus pandemic.

The use of innovative technology, such as mobile phone applications, website monitoring applications, wearable devices, and video conferencing, remotely connecting healthcare providers with patients plays a very important role in telemedicine and telehealth services. Telehealth application includes three major modalities: real-time virtual care, store-and-forward, and remote patient monitoring (RPM). The development in wireless technology and sensors is expected to transform the industry, creating lucrative opportunities for technology companies to collaborate with healthcare vendors to offer state-of-art patient care from the comfort of their homes. According to Arizton’s global telehealth market report, the industry is growing at a CAGR of over 28% by 2025.

Read: https://www.arizton.com/market-reports/telehealth-market-in-united-states-2025

Will Lucrative Reimbursement Policies Boost the US Telehealth Market?

Telemedicine and telehealth services became the lifeline for many Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Major companies in the US have been investing in upgrading their healthcare infrastructure to scale up virtual and remote health services and with new reforms and initiatives by both the federal and state governments, the upgrades might just happen sooner than later. The immense potential and benefits of telemedicine and telehealth are encouraging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand reimbursements for these services in the US market.

Did you know, in 2019, CMS finalized policies that increased plan choices and benefits, enabling Medicare Advantage Plans to include additional telehealth benefits? Major healthcare payors in the US are increasingly focusing on expanding and including remote patient monitoring, virtual health, and telemedicine services in their policies, increasing reimbursement opportunities for a larger patient pool. Similarly, in 2020, Original Medicare started paying for virtual check-ins across the US, allowing patients to connect with their doctors by phone or video chat. And in March 2020, CMS expanded telehealth adoption during the coronavirus pandemic, by including 85 telehealth services to the list of services covered by Medicare and declared that payment will be at the same rate as in-service care. Such coverage and benefits will not only encourage but boost the uptake of telemedicine and telehealth services in the US.

The use of cutting-edge, integrated robotic technology, and virtual reality (VR) applications in telemedicine and remote healthcare will revolutionize the industry over the next few years. For instance, InTouch Health is selling RP-VITA in the healthcare market as one of its new flagship remote presence device, which can be used in telehealth applications.

Read: https://www.arizton.com/market-reports/remote-healthcare-market

The Role of AI and IoT in Remote Patient Monitoring

The integration of AI and IoT in the healthcare industry will open the flood gates of endless opportunities and advancements in efficient patient care. AI in telemedicine and telehealth will proactively suggest preventive measures and cost-effective treatment options for patients. AI and IoT will enable healthcare organizations to witness a new business model using digital technology and to develop new products and services to revolutionize the process of caregiving while engaging the consumers. Multiple studies that have reported around 172% increase in healthcare IoT device installations from 2015 to 2019 worldwide. Advance technology integration in remote healthcare and modern healthcare settings will open a myriad of possibilities to improve the convenience, efficiency, and even budget-saving options.

According to a Gartner medical survey based in the US, around 86% of healthcare enterprises reported that they have at least one IoT architecture in place. IoT and AI are streamlining remote patient monitoring, electronic healthcare record systems, introducing tracked ingestible sensors, smart hospitals, and mhealth systems. mHealth application is taking remote patient monitoring to the next level, with apps for medication management, fitness, body activity & sleep tracking, pregnancy monitoring, and individual health recording healthcare services being just a click of a button away. This adoption and growth trajectory will open new doors for new development and innovation in the telemedicine and telehealth market.

Read: https://www.arizton.com/market-reports/connected-care-market-in-united-states

The Importance of Connected Care

Online treatment and remote care demand have soared to a new level during the COVID-19 pandemic that may not have otherwise reached for years. The demand for virtual care visits has further paced up as public health officials are pushing citizens to use virtual care services to get individuals to stay home, and several health plans have waived off consumer cost-sharing to encourage the adoption. Teladoc, a telehealth company, saw that more than 50% of the patient visits in March were from first time users, driving an unprecedented daily visit volume.

Many believe the high adoption of tech-based healthcare services is not temporary but a new way forward. With an increase in access, awareness, and education telemedicine and telehealth services could become a new hybrid patient care system that will revolutionize the healthcare industry that we know today. One can say that COVID-19 fast-tracked that integration of telemedicine and telehealth in today’s healthcare set-up but it is definitely here to stay even after the pandemic is long gone!

For more information and insights, visit www.arizton.com

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