June 9, 2021
Telemedicine is poised to save healthcare substantial money in the next four years, according to Joe O’Halloran, who synthesized a recent report on telemedicine by Jupiter Research in ComputerWeekly.
Driven by teleconsultation services and, to a lesser extent, remote patient monitoring and chatbots, telemedicine is projected to be able to save the global healthcare industry $21 billion in costs by 2025, rising from $11 billion in 2021, according to a survey from Juniper Research.
Juniper’s report, “Telemedicine: emerging technologies, regional readiness and market forecasts 2021-2025,” estimated that more than 280 million teleconsultations were performed in 2019, rising to 348 million in 2020 during the pandemic. It said 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.
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The research also identified teleconsultations, a service that enables patients and physicians to interact remotely, as another key service that will enable significant savings. But it cautioned that savings would be restricted to developed nations, where access to required devices and internet connectivity is prevalent. As a result, it predicted that over 80 percent of savings will be attributable to North America and Europe by 2025.
However, the survey cautioned that the significant investment into integrating telemedicine services, and the requirement of data protection, such as the U.S.’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), could discourage adoption among smaller healthcare providers. To foster the adoption of telemedicine services, the report recommended that healthcare regulatory bodies continue to deregulate telemedicine services to minimise any remaining barriers to entry for smaller healthcare providers.