A brief look at Frost & Sullivan’s predictions for the top five areas for telehealth growth shedding light on the opportunities ahead for telehealth
It’s tough to classify a term that has yet to be fully defined like telehealth. The field of providing care and health services through telecommunications and its array of technologies is still unfolding. However, there may be signs of what direction this transformative healthcare phenomena is headed in, thanks to a new report from Frost & Sullivan.
The research and consulting firm’s study, Analysis of the North American Telehealth Industry, is shedding light on the opportunities that lay ahead for telehealth, but not without pointing out a few of the obstacles that stand in its way.
Telehealth has yet to cement its role in healthcare, as its technologies and their potential impact are not yet fully realized. Although some of its practices have been around for nearly 50 years, according to the report. It has its share of hurdles, including technology and security issues, as well as business model and reimbursement concerns. However, its promise of creating access, fostering communication, and providing cost-effective care outshines its apparent shortcomings.
From remote patient monitoring to providing mHealth services to the underserved, telehealth is quickly making its mark in healthcare, producing startups poised to disrupt the market with new technologies along the way. Frost & Sullivan’s report looks at several areas of growth for telehealth, ranking the top 20 healthcare market segments, based on criteria including revenue opportunity, potential for short-term growth (over the next five years) and long-term growth (10+ years), along with its potential to improve care deliveryand and the stability of its business models.
Here is a look at the top five areas for telehealth growth:
1. Home-based care and disease management monitoring:
According to the report, this sector has a proven and evolving business model with many established revenue sources. Technologies designed to promote direct patient interaction are creating a bridge for consumer-friendly products, such as tablets. With the aging population on a steady climb and population health management (PHM) practices also on the rise, telehealth potential growth in this area is not surprising.
2. Remote physician/specialist services
This sector has grown substantially and swiftly, according to the report. Telehealth is addressing the need to provide care services remotely and cost-effectively through evolving video and audio technologies accessible via tablets and other mobile devices.
3. Personal emergency responses systems (PERS)
There’s been a spike in activity in this area over the past year. It’s one of the most promising sectors for potential growth due to its direct-to-consumer business models for healthcare services, according to the report.
4. Video diagnostic consultation
This is the most established sector of the video telemedicine market because it’s aiding providers to address the need for access to care regardless of location. Some reimbursement channels have been established since a video can count as a face-to-face encounter. However, a heavy reliance on pilots and/or temporary funding remains.
5. Remote cardiac Services
This sector is a “fully reimbursed remote medical service” thus it’s proven to create significant revenue. It’s well established market presence leaves little left in terms of technical evolution, but technology has allowed the introduction of new services at higher price points, according to the report.
Other top areas for telehealth grow include:
- Patient Portals
- Hosted Cloud Infrastructure
- Professional HC Apps
- Wellness Programs
- Diabetes Management
- Retail Telehealth
- Fitness/Wellness Apps
- Medication Management
- Electronic Health Records (EHR)
- Health Information Exchange( HIE)
- Activity Monitoring
- Distance Learning/Simulation
- Texting Information Services
Featured image credit: http://nerdcrunch.com