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Telehealth mediating healthcare without walls

Tele-health involves remote exchange of clinical information between a patient (staying in home setting) and the attending clinician(s), providing an assistance in diagnosis and monitoring of the patients (generally with long term conditions). Thus, a variety of tele-health products involves distribution of health related services and information via electronic information and telecommunication. This can be exampled as, two clinicians: discussing a case over video conferencing, robotic surgery occurring through a remote access, etc.

The global burden of diseases has increased and parallel the demand healthcare services. There are certain paradigms in the healthcare discipline which are restricted by the availability of the workforces (speech therapists, expert cardiologists, expert dermatologists, and others). In this limited availability, tele-health market emerged as a rectifying source. Tele-health market showed its presence since 1900’s. The period from 1980’s to 1990’s is referred to as the renaissance period of the tele- health market. It was with NASA’s venture of Health Net that the developing countries were connected to the tele-health market of United States. Thus, a set-up of global tele- health market was devised. Following this, various factors such as reduction in the consultation cost, growing government incentive programs, development of healthcare IT, and suitable reimbursement policies have made the market grow. However, factors such as high of set-up and changing regulatory framework are the major constraints for the market to expand.

According to a white a paper published by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives in 2017, ~90% of the telehealth visits were reimbursed resulting in improved patient access of 63%. Moreover, according to the NCBI, e-Health Technology has been addressing the global healthcare services. U.S and a number of European countries have allocated significant amount of resources to promote e- Health Technology. The implementation of EMR by 29% and 17% is illustrated, on primary care-backgrounds by the physicians in European Union and U.S respectively. Consider such trends, the market is estimated to grow a rapid CAGR of 9.7% from 2015 to 2023. The market is estimated to reach USD 35 billion by 2023.

Fig 1: Global Telehealth Market from 2015 to 2023.

Segments pertaining in the market

The global telehealth market has been segmented based on component, mode of delivery, end user, and region. The component segment is divided into services, software, and hardware. On the basis of mode of delivery, the market is sub-segmented into web-based, cloud-based, and on premise. The end user segment is sub-segmented into providers, payers, and patients. Based on region, the market is sub-segmented into Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa.

The component segment is led by services owing to increasing adoption of remote monitoring solutions by patient in remote rural areas, technological advancements in tele-communication, and introduction of ACA and similar legislation in the US.

By region, the Americas led the market in 2017 and was followed by Europe. Asia Pacific region was estimated to with the highest CAGR. This can be attributed to the rapidly developing healthcare infrastructure, favorable government policies and increasing burden of diseases within the region. According to the white paper published by India Brand Equity Foundation in 2018, the telehealth sector within the country has been evolving. The market for telehealth is estimated to reach a worth of USD 32 million by 2020.

Fig 2: Global Telehealth Market by Region (2017 share)

Major players of the market

The market of telehealth comprises of various international and local players. The international players have the advantage of early movers and enjoy a major share of the market. Philips Healthcare, Medtronic plc, Honeywell Life Care Solutions, Tunstall Healthcare, Care Innovations, Cerner Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., Medvivo Group Ltd., GlobalMedia Group, LLC, Aerotel Medical Systems Ltd., AMD Global Telemedicine, Inc., American Well, InTouch Health, and Vidyo, Inc. are some of the major players in the global telehealth market. 

Philips Healthcare is a major player in the market. The company offering in the market includes eICU program, e-acute program, e-consultant program, and others. In January, 2018 Royal Philips American Well (leading U.S. telehealth provider) signed a strategic partnership agreement to deliver virtual care solutions around the world. Such developments in the market is making Philips healthcare to enjoy greater revenues in the telehealth market.

 

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