Telemedicine involves the interaction between the healthcare professionals and patients at distant places, through telecommunication technologies like videoconferencing, image sharing and other teleconsultation services. Thus the growth of information technology and telemedicine services go hand-in-hand with each other.
Benefits of information technology in Healthcare
Eliminates the transportation complications for consultation: Healthcare information technology helps patients living at distant places to avoid travelling altogether
Reduces the healthcare cost (such as travelling costs & hospital admission costs): Healthcare IT enables small rural hospitals to provide effective healthcare solutions at affordable costs. It also saves money by eliminating the unnecessary hospital readmissions.
Ease of access to rural & remote areas: Technology helps rural patients to get access to healthcare specialists and subsequent benefits of healthcare solutions at their residential areas. In rural areas Healthcare IT networks offers data analytic services and health information exchanges like ‘The Rural HIT Network Development Program’
Provision of mHealth (mobile health): mobile health is considered as providing healthcare solutions through mobile platforms. It includes cell phones, smart phones, tablets and other communication devices. mhealth delivers healthcare information to doctors & patients. It also helps patients about the disease conditions (blood pressure, glucose levels, etc.) through text messages and reminders
Information technology involves hardware, software, and telecommunications segments. Hardware segment offers the devices such as mobiles, smartphones, tablets, computers, video cameras while software segment offers the applications necessary for videoconferencing. Setting them aside, Telecommunications consist of wireless networks, 3G, and 4G networks that involves the transmission of medical data from one location to another location. Increasing mobile users, especially in smart phone category and increasing penetration of internet across the world are some of the factors that propel the growth of telemedicine market.
- In 2012, the percentage of mobile phone users was approximately 58.1% of the global population, this was estimated at 61.0% in 2013 and it is further expected to grow to approximately 69.5% of the global population by 2017
Figure 1. Percentage of Mobile Phone Users across the World (2012-2017)
- The smartphone users across the world are estimated to reach approximately 2.7 billion by 2019 from 1.9 billion in 2015. Similarly, the number of smartphone users in the major countries across the globe is estimated to increase from 2013 to 2018 such as U.S. – 144 to 220.1 million; Canada-15.3 to24.0 million; Germany-30 to 53.3 million; France-21.2 to 44.0 million; U.K.-33.4 to 46.5 million; China-436.2 to 704.2 million; Japan-41.2 to 66.0 million; India-76.1 to 279.3 million
Figure 3. Number of Smartphone Users in Major countries across the World (2013-2018)
- In June 2016, the number of internet users in geographic regions is estimated to be as large 320.0 million in areas as North America while remaining regions stand as following; Europe-615 million; Asia-Pacific-1820.2 million; Latin America-385 million; Middle East & Africa-472.4 million
- From 2011 to 2015 3G broadband coverage across the world is estimated to increase from 45.5% to 68.5% in comparison with non-3G broadband coverage
Figure 5. Percentage of 3G Broadband Coverage (2011-2015)
From this information, it is evident that, information technology advancements will promote the growth of telemedicine market. Further, from this analysis it is observed that, among all the regions, Asia-pacific is estimated to be the fastest growing region for number of smartphone users and internet users which provides an opportunity for the growth of telemedicine market in Asia-Pacific region.
According to Market Data Forecast reports, global telemedicine market valued at USD 25.53 billion in 2015 and expected to reach USD 68.39 billion by 2021 with a CAGR of 17.85% from 2016-2021. Global telemedicine market is segmented based on type (technology & services), applications (tele-dermatology, tele-radiology, tele-cardiology, tele-neurology, emergency care, tele-pathology, home health, & others), delivery mode (web-based, cloud-based, & others), end users (tele-hospitals/clinics & tele-home), and geographic regions (North America-U.S., & Canada, Europe-Germany, France, & U.K., Asia-Pacific-China, Japan, & India, and Row-Latin America & Middle East & Africa). Go through the extensive reports with company profiles, strategic analyses and competitive landscape and avail your free research sample here. Keep following the blog for more interesting features in healthcare industry and subscribe to the newsletters for latest up-to-date market trends.