Telemedicine market to hit $2.8 billion by 2022

There are no signs the telemedicine market will be slowing down anytime soon, especially in light of a report from Grand View Research Inc. forecasting that the market will reach $2.8 billion by 2022.

Rising consumer demand for the tools will play large part in that growth, according to the report's authors. They cite an example from Community Care Plan of Eastern Carolina, where the facility was able to double the number of patients it could see a week thanks to telemedicine.

In fact, one new healthcare facility is entirely built on telemedicine. Mercy Hospital's virtual facility is being called the hospital's "telemedicine mother ship." The Chesterfield, Missouri-based system will house all of Mercy's telehealth programs, which total close to 80.

The Grand View report also found that:

  • Software, hardware and services were the main segments of the telehealth market. Software, which owns currently 18 percent of market share, will grow to 20.2 percent by 2022.
  • Web-based telemedicine is the most used, at 78 percent, however, cloud-based delivery is growing rapidly because it's easier to use, will allow services over myriad devices and does not use up a lot of system memory.  
  • Between payers, providers and other end users of the technology, the most growth will be on the provider side as hospitals and health systems grow the use of such tools at their facilities.
  • The biggest vendors in the industry include Philips Healthcare, McKesson Corp., Intel, IBM, GE Healthcare and Bosch Healthcare.

Using services like telemedicine also show promise to help save costs. An Accenture report says virtual health technology could save the industry $10 billion a year.

The Grand View Research report also notes that telehealth legislation will be another key to the growth of the services. That includes recent pushes by government officials to expand use of telemedicine, such as a bill sponsored by members of the Senate would allow veterans greater access to telehealth services by allowing providers to practice across state lines.

And even schools are jumping onto the telemedicine bandwagon. Many are now partnering with providers to bring the services to nurses' offices with a goal of keeping kids healthy and in class.

To learn more:
- here's the report summary

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