Telemedicine is the use of information technology and telecommunication to provide clinical healthcare from a distance. Telemedicine has been prevalent since the last decade but has seen a huge upsurge in the recent years across the global healthcare sector. Telemedicine is a revolutionalizing technology that provides healthcare right at the doorstep of the patient. Telemedicine makes use of technology like emails, phones, video conferencing and for exchanging the medical information of the patient with the healthcare provider. Health Care Market Research Reports views the global telemedicine industry to grow at a CAGR of approximately 18.4% for the period of 2017-2022. This technology is being extensively used by elderly people and a patient suffering from chronic diseases for whom travelling to hospitals or clinics is not viable given their condition. The use of this technology has also been expanded to rural areas where adequate healthcare system is not in place and even involving critical situations requiring expert advice.
Telemedicine is highly beneficial for people in remote areas of the world where proper healthcare setup is not in place. People can make great use of this technology to consult doctors and healthcare providers without having to travel all the way to these far off locations. Health Care Industry Analysis reveals that there have been many instances where the disease has been transmitted from the patient to the medical staff. Technology such as telemedicine has eliminated the risk factor keeping the medical staff out of harm’s way. Remote monitoring and analysis services and electronic data storage significantly reduce the healthcare cost for both the providers and the patients. Telemedicine also reduces the non-urgent ER room visits and eliminates transportation expenses for regular expenses thus driving up revenue. Researchers suggest that an ageing population is one of the main reasons driving the growth of this industry. Currently, one in seven people currently in the US are above the age of 65 or above. By 2040, this number is expected to double comprising more than 20% of the population. With a huge elderly population, the growth of this industry is inevitable. Combined with these demographics, the increasing unhealthy modern lifestyle has slowly increased the population’s vulnerability to chronic diseases. In order to tap on this opportunity, healthcare providers are looking for ways to improve efficiency and while simultaneously reducing the number of physical infrastructure which can be easily accomplished with the help of telemedicine. Hence, this has also caused the telemedicine industry to boom.
The top companies operating in the telemedicine industry are Careclix (US), Doctor on Demand (US), Mytelemedicine (US), Teladoc (US) and icliniq (US). icliniq Is currently operational in India via its Bangalore and Coimbatore office. Telemedicine has also laid down its foot in the Indian market with major firms namely Gem3S Technologies, Global Med, HD Medical and Indian Health Organization. These companies are at the top of their market however; this is just the top of the iceberg. There are numerous international and national companies operating in this domain.
With the key growth drivers having an impact on this industry, the scope of this sector could prove to be limitless. In the future, the mobile technology will play a key role, with patients accessing live video doctors on their smart phones. Telemedicine doctors will be able to call up the health records with the touch of a finger while shifting seamlessly between physical and virtual waiting rooms.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications