Juniper Research predicts that telemedicine will save the healthcare industry $21 billion in costs by 2025; rising from $11 billion in 2021. This represents a growth rate of over 80% in the next four years.
The concept of telemedicine involves the remote provision of healthcare services and includes technologies such as teleconsultations, remote patient monitoring and chatbots.
The research identified teleconsultations, a service that enables patients and physicians to interact remotely, as a key service that will enable these significant savings. However, it cautioned that savings would be restricted to developed nations where access to required devices and Internet connectivity is prevalent.
As a result, it predicted that over 80% of savings will be attributable to North America and Europe by 2025.
Deregulation of telemedicine is needed
The new report, Telemedicine: Emerging Technologies, Regional Readiness & Market Forecasts 2021 2025, estimated that over 280 million teleconsultations were performed in 2019. However, this rose to 348 million in 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. It anticipated that the activities of third party healthcare service developers will be crucial in accelerating the deployment of emerging telemedicine services, and increasing the uptake amongst healthcare providers.
However, the report predicted that the significant investment into integrating telemedicine services, and the requirement of data protection, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) in the US, will discourage adoption amongst smaller healthcare providers. To foster the adoption of telemedicine services, the report recommended that healthcare regulatory bodies continue to deregulate telemedicine services to minimise any remaining barriers to entry for smaller healthcare providers.
Research author, Adam Wears, remarked that any deregulation must ensure that patient confidentiality is not undermined.
“Additionally, we recommend that innovative and emerging teleconsultation services are integrated into existing healthcare technologies, such as electronic health records, to maximise their benefits to healthcare providers,” he concluded.