Telehealth is the brightest of all the promising healthcare delivery methods primed to play an expanded role in healthcare. Paving way for telemedicine are changes within the healthcare industry, friendlier legislation, and a shifting economic landscape. By 2020, analysts project this industry will be worth $36 billion. Telecommunications and other technology fields are making great strides on a daily basis, and every advancement works in telehealth’s best interest.
Another Smartphone Revolution
We can directly credit smartphones for telehealth’s current success. Nearly 30 percent of the world’s population currently carries a smartphone, and that statistic is projected to grow 7 percent by 2020. Among these, many are rural and homebound patients, who are among those most affected by the physician shortage and could benefit from access to telemedicine services. The reach of cellular data service where landline data and wireless internet cannot further increase the medium’s portability and accessibility. Smartphones’ basic voice and video chat capabilities can be used to diagnose and treat a surprising number of conditions. Additionally, the devices can also help patients manage other, specific medical activities through certified apps and add-ons.
Sensors, Sensors Everywhere
It’s the gadgets and the growing popularity of the internet of things (IoT) that is taking the telehealth market to new places. You might have heard of examples like ingestible “smart pills” and wearable heart and temperature monitoring devices. However, IoT isn’t quite where it needs to be to meet healthcare’s stringent security and privacy needs. But sky is the limit once these concerns are addressed. You could see people leaving pharmacies with bags of tiny, smartphone-connectable gadgets alongside their medications in the very near future.
Keep watching this space to know more about the technologies that are giving telehealth the right kind of push.