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Telemedicine – which involves the remote provision of healthcare services and includes technologies such as teleconsultations, remote patient monitoring and chatbots - will save the global healthcare industry cost savings amounting to about US$21 billion by 2025, according to a new study by Juniper Research.
This figure represents a growth rate of over 80% in the next four years, rising from the expected US11 billion this year.
The new study entitled “The Doctor is Always In: How Teleconsultations Improve Patient Care” identified teleconsultations, a service that enables patients and physicians to interact remotely, as a key service that will enable these significant savings.
However, it cautioned that savings would be restricted to developed nations where access to required devices and Internet connectivity is prevalent. As a result, the study predicts that over 80% of savings will be attributable to North America and Europe by 2025.
Deregulation of telemedicine needed to maximise growth
With the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, the number to teleconsultations have reached more than 348 million last year – nearly a 25% increase – over the 280 million recorded in 2021.
In another report entitled “Telemedicine: Emerging Technologies, Regional Readiness & Market Forecasts 2021 2025”, Juniper Research ” predicts that the activities of third party healthcare service developers will be crucial in accelerating the deployment of emerging telemedicine services and increasing the uptake among healthcare providers.
However, the report predicts that the significant investment into integrating telemedicine services and the requirement of data protection, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) in the US, will discourage adoption among smaller healthcare providers.
To foster the adoption of telemedicine services, it recommended that healthcare regulatory bodies continue to deregulate telemedicine services to minimise any remaining barriers to entry for smaller healthcare providers.
“Any deregulation must ensure that patient confidentiality is not undermined. Additionally, we recommend that innovative and emerging teleconsultation services are integrated into existing healthcare technologies, such as electronic health records, to maximise their benefits to healthcare providers,” said research author Adam Wears.