As connected health technologies continue to evolve, they present opportunities for healthcare providers and patients alike to experience better or more efficient care. While many have argued that telehealth and other connected health services have not grown as rapidly as may have been initially anticipated, more recent trends point to a surge in adoption.
In fact, across the United States, telehealth use grew by 53% from 2016 to 2017, and the market is expected to grow to more than $64 billion by 2025, representing about half of the value of the global telemedicine market. The growth is largely due to a highly developed communications infrastructure, prevalence of mobile devices, and development of advanced connected health platforms and applications, all of which create easies access to healthcare services. In addition, state and Federal regulation continues to evolve to support the use of and reimbursement for connected health services.
In fact, the increase in telehealth usage has also created a wider spread of use cases. Whereas mental health was the dominant condition for telehealth consultations in 2016, 2017 saw a greater range, with several other conditions overtaking mental health. The top 5 conditions for which patients sought telehealth consultations in 2017 included:
- Injury (13%)
- Acute Respiratory Infections (13%)
- Digestive Systems Issues (13%)
- General Signs and Symptoms (9%)
- Mental Health (7%)
- Joint/Soft Tissue Issues (7%)
While technology and regulatory inclusion enable the use of connected health to administer care for these and many other conditions, other factors that contribute to patients’ growing desire to use it include cost and time savings. Telehealth visits and other connected health services are less expensive than office visits, and save time related to scheduling and travel. With injuries, for instance, telehealth, allows for quick response to patient needs and provides immediate evaluation to identify the best course of treatment.
In addition, a high rate of chronic conditions – including more than 54 million American adults who have been diagnosed with arthritis, a figure expected to grow to more than 78 million in the next two decades – will contribute to the growth of the market.
While regulation, new uses cases, and availability will continue to drive growth, positive outcomes are the cornerstone of success, including having the right connected health platform in place. To learn more about how to choose the right platform to deliver the best possible patient outcomes, connect with us here.