Telemedicine started more than 50 years ago. Today, virtual healthcare has only become more substantial, with millions of people seeking physician’s help through mobile apps, websites interfaces, and through calls and emails. In 2020, three trends will define telemedicine:
For many years, hospitals have employed telemedicine only in unique medical cases. However, technology is now part of medical practice. According to a study by FAIR Health, non-hospital telemedicine grew by 1,393 percent between 2014 and 2018. These cases involved patients recovering from illnesses having video calls with remote physicians. Most people seek the help of a doctor remotely for illnesses such as the common cold and skin rashes, which are not so fatal.
Today, more than 15 percent of physicians in the US work in practices where telemedicine takes a larger share of the day to day activities. In 2020 and beyond, more people will adopt telehealth.
Better Pay for Physicians
One of the hurdles in telehealth is low reimbursement. Both private and public players in the telehealth industry realize the immense savings that come with accessing healthcare remotely. According to one study, an individual saves between $19 and $121 for every visit.
Today, up to 40 states in the US have reimbursement-friendly telehealth parity laws. With such laws, people no longer view telehealth as a secondary option but as a standard way of receiving medical care.
Increased Apps and Systems to Help Vulnerable Populations
Today, telehealth helps more millennials than the elderly and the vulnerable. However, with better systems and advanced apps, the elderly and vulnerable populations can access telehealth.
The younger population can use any digital technology, including emails, apps, phone calls, and much more. The elderly and people with chronic conditions comprise up to half of the American population. This group can benefit more from telehealth than millennials.
Medical providers seek new ways to provide healthcare for the disadvantaged; telehealth is one of the ways that specialists consider.
With increased telehealth adoption, the industry will see other trends. These include increased home messaging devices, growth in clinical tools such as blood pressure monitors with patients, monitoring center links, and telemonitoring devices for vulnerable populations. In 2020, doctors and patients will become more accustomed to the use of these tools. The use of these devices will cut healthcare costs for patients who are chronically ill.