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7 Trends Shaping the Future of Telemedicine

By Prateek Saxena
September 30, 2020 5. min read
Last update on: September 30, 2020

Did you know that the global telehealth market size is projected to grow exponentially to USD 55.6 billion by 2025 from USD 25.4 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 16.9% during the forecast period? You must be pleasantly shocked!

Well, growth in the telehealth market is mainly directed by various factors but one of the major factors is the rising population! During this time of the Covid-19 pandemic how can we forget that we need to expand our healthcare industry? The growing prevalence of chronic diseases and the shortage of medical services has led to a brighter future of telehealth. Whatever symptoms you are now dealing with, your diagnosis is just a call away!

Telemedicine: the future of healthcare

The telemedicine market has grown significantly over the past few years. Using telecommunications, it enables healthcare professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients virtually. The telemedicine approach has evolved over the last decade to such an extent that today it is the most integral part of the American healthcare infrastructure. North America is known to be the largest telemedicine market globally and it is envisioned to reach 35 billion dollars by 2025, according to Statista

The global healthcare market is projected to grow massively by 2026 and is estimated to be valued at over $175 billion. There are numerous factors that have contributed to the growth of the market including – increased traditional health care costs, funding for telemedicine, increase in digital health users and the evolution of mhealth in the healthcare institution.

The global telemedicine market size stats

Two forms of telemedicine

  1. Synchronous Telemedicine: It requires the presence of both parties – patient and the healthcare professional at the same time in order to make a communication link that allows a real-time interaction.
  2. Asynchronous Telemedicine: It involves acquiring medical data and further transmitting the same data to a medical specialist at a convenient time for assessment offline.

Telemedicine trends, numbers you need to know

  • More than 50% of all U.S. healthcare organizations provide a telemedicine program
  • More than 50% healthcare organizations claimed that telemedicine improved the quality of patient care provided
  • About 90% of the remaining healthcare organizations have already started working on a telemedicine program
  • Around 55% of patients feel that telemedicine has increased their involvement in treatment decisions

Telemedicine technology amidst coronavirus  

2020 is without a doubt one of the most eventful years for telehealth on the record. Covid-19 has changed the telemedicine future trends! Telemedicine adoption rate has significantly improved as you can see in the graph below:

Telemedicine technology amidst coronavirus stats

Also, in a survey done by Mckinsey, there was a drastic shift from 11% to 76% when it came to people who want to use telehealth. 

telehealth survey

Trends that are shaping the future of telehealth

1.  The ‘digital first’ approach

Historically speaking, the healthcare industry has been a little slow when it comes to adapting the digital way of things. However, due to the coronavirus crisis the demands being placed on the healthcare ecosystem have accelerated! This has further resulted in the increase of investments in telehealth. Prior to coronavirus, Everest Group predicted healthcare providers will be increasing their spending on digital IT services by over 15% by the time we hit 2025. The firm has now changed its stance to higher investment and shorter time. It is safe to say that the era of digitalization is here!

2.  The adoption of mhealth

mHealth is the new horizon for health through mobile technologies. In simple words,  it is a specific way to utilize mobile technology to achieve improved health goals.The global mHealth market size was valued at USD 40.7 billion in 2019 – a number is poised to keep increasing with time.   Don’t you want to have a share of this revenue? The growing trend of preventive healthcare measures and the rise in funding or investments for mHealth start-ups also drive market growth.

us mhealth market size stats

3.  Artificial intelligence as a standard of care

During critical times, an AI-powered technology can be leveraged to provide automated interactions with patients during critical times. These AI based healthcare chatbots when integrated with medical information like symptoms, medications, treatments, doctors, conditions, etc can be a time savior. Not only this, AI applications can improve the speed and accuracy of the diagnosis process. 

For example: FDA approved the first AI-based diagnostic device that is a system that looks into eye diagnosis by examining pictures of the retina. Once the high-quality photos are uploaded, the algorithm then starts to check for possible indications of diabetic retinopathy. The disorder was correctly identified by the software in 87% of the given cases, and it correctly identified individuals without the disease 90% of the time.

4.  Technological shifts

The future of telemedicine in healthcare is impacted by many technologies. The major technology being 5G. It will provide a faster network speed that has the potential to completely transform the telemedicine ecosystem. This powerful network will be crucial for delivering medical images, remote patient monitoring, virtual meetings etc. Equipments, Medicines, and multiple other healthcare needs can be also be determined by using real time technology. Other technologies such as – internet of medical things, blockchain and cloud technology are updating the telehealth world. 

5.  VR/AR applications and virtual visits

VR technology is helping both patients and doctors. From educating and training healthcare professionals to planning medical procedures, AR/VR seem promising! 

Virtual visits make the access to health care more convenient. People can see and talk to a medical professional through their smartphone, tablet or computer. Actual doctor visits are not necessary instead, they can visit with a doctor from the comfort of their own home. Virtual health applications have an increased investment provider as shown in the image below.

provider investment in vr applications

6.  Remote medical services

The future of telemedicine has no limits! Many healthcare organizations are thinking of outsourcing their niche via telemedicine. Genres like psychiatry, dermatology, neurology and mental health demand for vendors. This will result in a rapidly expanding and competitive market. 

7.  Globalization

The telehealth market size has now grown globally! Telemedicine is now anticipated to become a major source of international trade. Global investments is constantly enhancing the telehealth industry.  The potential revenue from telehealth services could have a significant effect on the worldwide economy!

Benefits of Telehealth

  • Easy access to the best healthcare services.
  • Patients who are elderly or chronically ill do not have to take the risk of travelling for a consultation with a medical professional
  • It allows doctors to examine patients anywhere, anytime and share the outcomes in real time.
  • It also makes the remote patient monitoring (RPM) process easier for the medical professionals since they can check-in on the patient anytime they see fit.
  • Lower healthcare cost since it cuts the hospital stay in cost and readmissions.

In the end..

So if you want to invest in the most promising industry and need to hire a healthcare app development company, your time is now! The current crisis has clearly demonstrated the relevance of telehealth and healthcare application development. The $3 billion worth market comes with the potential to grow up to around $250 billion. The seeds for success have already been sown, all you have to do is reap. Don’t forget that the window to act is now! 

Prateek Saxena
Prateek Saxena
Co-founder of Appinventiv
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