8 Predictions for the Future of Telemedicine
The telemedicine technology is set to revolutionize the healthcare sector. The ability to provide care to patients in remote locations is fueling the adoption of this technology. Some believe Telemedicine is all hype, but many others contend the technology has already taken off. They also expect it will keep expanding access to healthcare to the remote rural areas where doctors are few and far between. The technology is also expected to avail healthcare provision to the elderly and patients with limited mobility.
As governments push for its adoption through increased funding and legislation, telemedicine, also alternatively known as telehealth, is set to take over the healthcare sector. Besides, it looks like the wearable technology has finally found an appropriate suitor in telemedicine. Soon your watch might be able to report to your doctor that you are sick. Below are a few predictions for the future of telemedicine.
1. There will be More Virtual Clinical Trials
To overcome the challenge of not having enough participants in clinical trials, expect more experiments to be conducted virtually. Already, courtesy of telemedicine, there are more virtual clinical trials being conducted. With virtual trials, patients can mostly stay at home where they are monitored via remote devices.
Besides, these remote monitoring devices can quickly identify a patient’s deviation from the baseline readings. It is, therefore, possible that telemedicine will encourage more patients to engage in trials. Because it is all virtual, geographical restrictions will not apply when recruiting participants, so the future of telemedicine will be found in every corner of the world.
2. Physician-Patient Relationships will be Strengthened
While critics of telemedicine contend a doctor can’t meet a patient’s healthcare needs unless they are in the same room, in reality, this technology enriches the relationship between a doctor and patient. Since the doctor can monitor a patient’s vital data such as HBP, should they notice something that needs urgent attention, they can book the patient for face-to-face appointments.
3. Scaling of Pediatric Telehealth Platforms
Telehealth initially targeted adult patients. However, pediatric telehealth has since become common, and the trend is likely to continue. Telemedicine saves time and minimizes in-person appointments. More pediatric healthcare facilities are getting onboard the telemedicine bandwagon. As the trend continues as projected, young people could opt to be treated at home where they are more at ease and comfortable.
4. Tons of Patients Expected to Seek Telemedicine Treatment
With doctors rapidly adopting telemedicine technology, the number of patients seeking these services is projected to skyrocket in the years ahead. For instance, the U.S. recorded 350,000 telemedicine patients in 2013. By 2018, this figure had risen by 19,000%. That’s within only five years. This trend is projected to replicate itself globally, making the future of telemedicine very bright across the world.
5. Healthcare Insurance will Embrace Telemedicine
Health insurance companies are moving towards broader coverage to include Telemedicine. By covering Telemedicine, insurance companies see considerable savings in terms of costs. In fact, some companies are developing their own telemedicine programs to cut costs even further.
6. Telemedicine and Wearable to Come Together
Telemedicine is projected to converge with the wearable technologies to provide a better remote telehealth service. Already, the elderly and patients with chronic conditions are enjoying the benefits of wearable devices that provide them with a better telehealth service.
Seeking medical attention by the elderly Baby Boomers who are turning 65 (more so those with chronic diseases) has become a challenge, especially in terms of transport. Together, telemedicine and wearable technologies will bring treatment where the sick and elderly are. The wearable devices enable remote real-time monitoring of patients.
7. Government Support and Funding to Increase
Government funding for telemedicine is expected to increase as nations and states embrace the potential of telehealth to revolutionize global healthcare systems. Already, the future of telemedicine is gaining traction at the national, state and provincial levels. Besides funding, more legislative action will be witnessed as governments seek to scale up and mainstream the adoption of telemedicine.
8. Increased Adoption by the Elderly and People with Limited Mobility
For the elderly and people with limited mobility, Telemedicine provides an excellent alternative to physically visiting a healthcare facility. Besides, rural communities without enough doctors are expected to benefit from an expanded telehealth technology. Going by studies on those already using the service, the future of telemedicine is very bright as more patients demonstrate an eagerness to adopt the revolutionary technology.
Telemedicine is set to redefine the healthcare sector drastically. As governments come on board to push its adoption, in the coming years, it won’t matter where in the world you are. You will be able to access services from healthcare providers located in multiple remote locations. By employing the use of wearable devices, doctors will remotely monitor the progress of their patients wherever they are in the world. While there is likely to be early adoption challenges, so far all indications point to a revolution in healthcare services courtesy of telehealth.