COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionized the face of medical practice worldwide. Although telemedicine has been known for years, it has recently changed from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” necessity. Telehealth is in the spotlight now, helping medical specialists connect to their patients, provide online consultation, reach an expert diagnosis, and triage patients’ illnesses. Although telemedicine is having its moment right now, it is not a flash and is here to stay! According to a Global Market Insights’ report, the value of the telemedicine market will reach $175.5 by 2026. These statistics indicate the future prospects of telehealth.
The shift of telehealth from a “luxury” to a “staple” healthcare essential owes to many reasons as follows:
It has become clear that patients often choose virtual visits with their doctors when offered the opportunity. It’s easy and offers easier connections to their care provider. In fact, according to a report by The American Journal of Managed Care, telemedicine has increasingly become a popular option for patients relative to conventional office visits. When physicians search for ways to optimize and improve patient care, telemedicine will be important.
Convenience and Flexibility:
There is no doubt that telemedicine is very useful for physicians and patients alike. It allows doctors the ability to handle their patient schedule more effectively and needs a shorter time period commitment from patients as they will attend the appointment from home. Telemedicine saves time with patients traveling to and from the Doctor’s office. And it allows doctors to spend more time diagnosing and treating patients.
Technology Continues to Improve:
The pace of development in healthcare is accelerating, and the pandemic is only accelerating this trend. As digital health companies continue to make efforts to improve their tools and offerings, we can expect further advances in virtual care products. With revolutionary features and improved capabilities that integrate patient reviews, these tools will increasingly be a realistic choice for more forms of healthcare appointments even after the pandemic subsides.
Reimbursement and Regulation:
Although the telemedicine payment mechanism is somewhat unclear for certain providers, it is likely that insurance agencies will be required to respond to the increasing need for such appointments and to refund them accordingly. Healthcare providers are expected to continue to develop permanent telemedicine services for patients living in remote areas or who actually want to access virtual care.
Access to healthcare is not uniformly spread across the United States In remote and underserved areas, the closest clinic facility may be hours away. Previous to the pandemic, telemedicine technologies allowed patients to have access to high-speed Internet access. Unfortunately, there are still significant disparities in broadband Internet access based on age, income, education and race.