The pandemic moved telehealth medicine from a limited use product for rural and underserved patients to widespread use across all aspects of the health care industry. According to the CDC, telehealth medicine utilization spiked by more than 154% in late March of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Telehealth medicine is expected to rise to over $397 billion by 2027 from a market of $42 billion in 2019.
Why Is Telehealth Medicine Working Post-Pandemic?
- Ease of Use – No commuting, no long waits in waiting rooms and an easy and convenient way for doctors to follow-up on adherence to treatment plans and for patients to ask questions.
- Cost Effective – A McKinsey survey found 76% of patients interested in using telehealth medicine for medication refills, prep work for upcoming in-person visits, test result review or to get educational materials. Very useful as a first line of treatment for non-urgent and follow-up care.
- Generational Comfort – While baby boomers were forced into using telehealth during the pandemic and did become more comfortable with it as a result, Gen X, Z and Millennials all enthusiastically engaged at levels over 68%. The expectation is the “online” generations will continue to prefer, when possible, this type of medical service.
- Improved Technology – As video services, webchats and automatic real-time updates, reminders and follow-up appointment scheduling has become easier to use and technologically trouble-free, willingness to rely on this technology has also increased.
- Wearable Technology – Enthusiasm for personal fitness trackers that also capture heart rates, blood pressure, sleep cycles and glucose levels allows doctors access to day-to-day information about their patient’s health, and the patient isn’t required to do anything other than provide access.
- Integrated Data Sharing – Capturing all data relative to a patient in one online file system, means easy access for specialists as well as primary care doctors. Patients can easily maintain and share their medical history. Passing on this critical information will maximize patient care.
- Mental Health Innovation – Over 10% of people globally suffer from mental health disorders. Forced videoconferencing therapy during the pandemic offered credibility for and acceptance of this type of service going forward.
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