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Category Scan: Telehealth Services Market Innovations and Updates 2019

When it comes to the telehealth services market, our experts predict that the industry has reached a tipping point. Increasing consumer demand, technological advancements, and innovative research activities have reached a stage where the law of accelerating returns states that “technological advances will be exponential rather than linear.” Which basically means that with technology becoming increasingly effective, greater resources will have to be dedicated to furthering its reach and impact.

The article below scans the category for telehealth services in its entirety to help healthcare companies understand and stay abreast of the latest news, innovations, and market developments.

Telehealth Services: Recent Innovations and Market Updates 2019

Emerging innovations in the self-service arena

Technological innovations like artificial intelligence are gradually finding their way into telehealth services. The use of such tech trends in telehealth apps not only guides patients through a series of questions and collects data but are also capable of interpreting these user responses. This means that a tremendous amount of groundwork can be completed before the patient connects with the provider, making clinical interactions more efficient and focused.

Direct to consumer market has matured

Direct to consumer is one of the commercially successful telehealth services segments that has attracted the maximum health technology investment. A couple of telehealth services providers own a significant chunk of the market share in the direct to consumer market.  It encompasses several products and services and enables the highest level of quality and cost-effective healthcare for patients, irrespective of their geographic location. However, healthcare systems struggle to turn this form of technology into a profitable revenue stream as consumers have been slow to adopt this model. It attracts a new set of consumers who might not otherwise use medical services, thereby, driving costs up.

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Telemedicine kiosks to dispense prescription medication

Although the use of self-service kiosks in hospitals and clinics are becoming common, the use of kiosks to provide healthcare assistance outside hospital premises is a fairly new concept in healthcare. A company based out of the US recently launched telemedicine service kiosks that can dispense prescription medications. These kiosks are primarily aimed at patients with non-life threatening conditions like colds, rashes, and fever. The company claims that its HIPAA compliant telemedicine stations can be deployed in airports, hotels, colleges, and large private employers. Their telemedicine station is equipped with thermal imaging capability to detect body temperature and diagnose infections. It also helps in analyzing height, weight, and blood pressure. Each unit also includes a locked dispensary, which contains a number of the most commonly prescribed medications in the most commonly prescribed dosages, which can be prescribed at the end of a telehealth visit. Such innovative telehealth services will be highly useful in providing faster and easier healthcare access to patients.

Provider collaboration offering opportunities for growth

Provider collaboration could play a major role in enhancing communication between physicians, specialists, and nursing staff. Furthermore, it helps physicians to seek the expertise that they don’t possess. A classic example of this is the use of telestroke in the emergency room, a technology that was introduced in 2015 at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. It provides neurologists immediate access to incoming stroke patients through emergency room video conferencing. There are a huge number of companies leveraging such telehealth services.

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Building telemedicine capabilities into new spaces

This is one of the most recent and interesting paradigms in the telehealth services market. It involves the idea that patients can be treated through telemedicine in the hospital, at home, in nursing homes, in physician’s offices, and other places. These types of telehealth services aim to promote the idea that rather than forcing patients in need of care to travel, they can be provided with care in the space that is most convenient to them. Equipping nursing homes and hospital rooms with technologies to facilitate this would enable a variety of practitioners to provide bedside care more conveniently. In this case, the transportation of patients can be avoided and practitioners can access more patients without disruption. In addition, the primary care provider, family, and friends located elsewhere could link into the video consultations.  This plays a major role in enhancing the communication between all parties involved in the patient’s care.

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Market Intelligence

Loss of Net Neutrality and its Effect on Telemedicine

If telemedicine is the future of enhanced of healthcare services, then net neutrality is the lifeline on which this process functions. Net neutrality basically means equal treatment of all data in the online space. However with the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) move towards overturning its 2015 mandate on net neutrality, many in the healthcare sector are concerned about its negative effect on the delivery of medical services.

Telemedicine: Economical route for better health services

Providing easy access to healthcare facilities even to those in the remotest part of the country has been the goal of several governments throughout the globe. By bringing telecommunications and information technology on the same platform, telemedicine makes it easier for the physicians to overcome the geographical barrier and reach out to their patients. One of the best innovations in the healthcare industry, telemedicine has emerged as one of the most cost-effective means to provide high-quality health services.

Last year a survey conducted by the leading telehealth company American Well, found that 60% of patients would prefer to see a doctor online for managing a chronic condition. Similarly 79% of caretakers prefer using multi-way video telehealth service to take care of their aging relatives. It is not just the patients and caretakers who find telemedicine feasible, but stakeholders too believe that investments telemedicine is sure to provide them a competitive advantage in the upcoming years.

Loss of net neutrality: A major setback for telemedicine

With FCC moving closer to ending the era of net neutrality, the momentum of digital healthcare is sure to slow down. An open and unbiased internet is, in fact, the foundation of online medical treatment. Industry experts believe that health services will surely suffer and turn expensive if the FCC fails to classify ISPs as “common carriers.” The control over the speed and access to online content is sure to hurt beneficiaries in the rural areas, as well as low-income Americans and the colored population.

Today, the two major drivers of change in the healthcare industry are technology and free access to information– repealing of net neutrality will be a major roadblock for digital healthcare. It is essential that the opinions and concerns of all the major stakeholders in the healthcare industry be considered before rolling back the net neutrality policy.

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Remote Patient Monitoring: The New Tool for Enhancing Healthcare Systems

Taking healthcare services to the masses in the most cost-effective manner is the prime focus of governments across the globe. Stakeholders in the healthcare system have realized that the traditional healthcare models fail to provide effective medical services. It is in this scenario that technology is seen as a possible option to improve the overall functioning of the medicare systems. Telehealth, remote patient monitoring (RPM), and mHealth are some of the examples of how technology can provide value-based medical care.

Remote patient monitoring: Filling the distance between patients and doctors

Through RPMs, the health related data of patients in one location is digitally transmitted to health care providers in a different location.  the patient need not travel all the way to a clinic to consult the doctor. Rather from the comfort of his home he can interact with the healthcare professional and get timely help. The system is extremely beneficial for those who are physically handicapped or cannot travel alone due to old age and other disabilities.

By leveraging cloud and big data, RPM systems make it easier for the healthcare providers to access all the medical details of a patient. Right from the management of diabetes and hypertension, to helping cardiac and asthma patients, RPM has touched all the major areas of the healthcare industry. The technology also plays a vital role in bringing down the cases of long hospital stays and cuts down the cost of clinical trials as well.

From the point of view of hospitals and clinics, medical professionals can now dedicate more time on patients who need very close physical monitoring. Timely detection and quick intervention also reduce the hospitalization and readmission rates. Just by providing their services through the online medium, hospitals gain additional revenues. Most of all, the data collected for RPM can be used in clinical trials for new drug discovery.

Infiniti’s take on remote patient monitoring

Our market intelligence shows that in spite of several advantages, there are some major challenges which are hindering the adoption of RPM throughout the globe. Though at present its quite in demand in the US, the initial investment in this technology is quite massive. Also, regulations like HIPAA, make it rather difficult to access information which falls into the category of protected health information. At the same time, there is no denying the fact that RPM is the future of the healthcare industry. By bringing medical help right into the homes of the patients, this technological innovation has emerged as a powerful tool in the healthcare industry.

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Telehealth – Bringing Healthcare and Technology Together

Gone are the days when doctors made house calls. Today, hospitals can barely keep up with the growing number of patients, and some doctors are opting for MDVIP or Concierge Practice, where they only take on a small number of patients who can pay a premium for more individualized care. It is almost impossible to walk into a clinic without waiting, even in North America. In some places, the closest hospital facility may be 100 miles away or simply doesn’t have the proper resources. The age of technology and smart devices has opened the doors to a new, promising way to address healthcare that capitalizes on the connectivity of our world: telehealth.

Telehealth is defined as the use of technology or telecommunications to provide health services in the areas of health, medicine, and education. Telehealth has a host of applications, from being used to virtually diagnose a patient to providing general health instruction.

More than just a diagnostic tool

Telehealth utilizes all types of technology, and even allows patients to virtually interface with health professionals. This is a major development, as it can allow for much quicker diagnoses and make treatment far more efficient and streamlined. For example: an individual notices a questionable-looking mole and wants to get it checked out given his or her family’s history of skin cancer, but doesn’t can take off work for an appointment. With the use of telehealth, he or she can send a picture of the mole to a dermatologist and virtually discuss possibilities and concerns. The dermatologist can make a quick diagnosis as to whether the mole does in fact require a biopsy, or if the individual should just continue to monitor it at home. Not only does telehealth save time and money, but it also allows a professional to determine a health issue right away even if the patient cannot be physically present, which, in the case of something like skin cancer, can be critical.

Healthcare for all

One of the most important aspects of telehealth is its ability to make healthcare available to everyone, even those in rural, inner city, and impoverished areas, where, in many cases, it is easier to obtain a smartphone than it is to get proper medical care. Travelling to the nearest hospital or clinic can be expensive, not to mention the cost of the treatment itself. On the other side of the coin, building facilities and obtaining resources and proper staffing is incredibly costly, and usually isn’t an option for those areas already dealing with poor infrastructure and lack of funds.

Telehealth is also important for the elderly and those with disabilities, for whom travel is risky and challenging. If a patient requires regular treatment, telehealth allows for the remote monitoring of vitals and the gathering of the medical information needed to continue assisting the patient without them having to leave home.

Global education and resource sharing

Education is hugely important when it comes to healthcare. Many of the world’s health issues can be controlled or even solved with proper education and preventative care, but, unfortunately, millions of people still do not have access to what should be a necessity. With the help of telehealth, health education and resources can be made remotely accessible, no matter the location or language spoken. For those within the health industry, telehealth can be used by medical professionals across the globe to share research, communicate and formulate alternative diagnoses for complex medical cases. Further, in cases where a hospital requires a specialist who is not on-site, the specialist can join the team remotely from any other hospital or medical facility in the world. Telehealth is a comprehensive solution for any issues that come about because of lack of resources.

Telehealth, for sure, represents the future of healthcare, changing the face of the health industry as we know it. And, with the development of new and better technologies occurring at a rapid rate, the opportunity for telehealth will only continue to increase.

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