The Telehealth Revolution has Only Just Begun
For over thirty years, healthcare industry visionaries have been developing real-time voice, messaging and data applications supporting connected care to bring together patients and their medical teams over the Internet.
Late in the last century, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent building video capabilities using earlier networking technologies, for example, ISDN lines. Most video applications brought the world’s best doctors and specialists to the virtual table, connecting major medical centers and teaching universities in expensive special-purpose video conference rooms that cost a fortune.
In the late ’90s, the Internet was still slow, often unreliable, and relatively expensive, and there was no such thing as mobile broadband.
The rationale for using video technologies for diagnosis, consultation, treatment, research, and ongoing education has not changed much; in fact, more than ever, it makes all the sense in the world.
What has evolved are solutions that are being adopted at an unprecedented rate by healthcare professionals and patients, dramatically lowering the cost of providing healthcare. In parallel, “big data” is making it possible for researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and government organizations to better understand, develop and continually improve the way society cares for the population and especially individuals with chronic conditions.
The global telemedicine market size is expected to reach USD 298.9 billion by 2028, according to a new report by Grand View Research. The market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 22.4% from 2021 to 2028.
Today, with increasing access to high-speed broadband, including 5G, which is being rolled out over the next few years, the mobile revolution in healthcare is poised for continued, explosive growth. With the advent of new technologies, driven by standards like WebRTC, which make real-time communications intuitive, immediate, and affordable using browser-based applications, the experiences of patients and caregivers can be dramatically improved.
The new and next generation of medical professionals rely upon their mobile devices non-stop. Traditional charts are being replaced with digital tablets and health apps that connect doctors, nurses, specialists, pharmacists, and others, to patients and their families.
Patients use apps to monitor their health, track calories, and check glucose levels, heart rate, brain response time, and more.
Complex regimens for managing chronic disease, for example, diabetes, which is an epidemic in many communities, are more conveniently and safely managed by patients, their families, and their healthcare teams.
The easier the interaction and process, the higher the compliance, leading to longer, healthier lives and lower costs for insurance providers.
Medicare and Medicaid in the US, state-sponsored health systems, and healthcare organizations globally can extend their reach beyond their clinics and hospitals. Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) are improving constantly, as is the security around HIPAA compliance to protect privacy and data. Integrations using Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) and the related communications APIs and SDKs are making it possible to embed real-time engagement into digital health apps and record systems, including the ability to access and review imaging files and more, from within the app.
As the reduction in costs continues and the development of digital devices, including Internet of Medical Things Remote Patient Management (RPM) systems, grows, we are well-positioned to make better care available to more people and exponentially more efficiently.
This includes care hubs that can be easily placed into people’s homes and connected to a wireless network through a SIM card, then paired with the appropriate devices. Patients and care teams can understand in real-time how the patient is doing while recording and sending vital signs as if the patient were in a clinic or hospital.
Devices include digital scales, EKG monitors, thermometers, oximeters, blood pressure, heart rate, and glucometers. We are seeing advances in all categories of medicine for health and mental health; with new innovations coming into the market every day, Virtual therapists are making a huge difference in helping people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
AVCTechnologies and Kandy are proud to be pioneers in this vibrant and important field by providing the platform and tools developers need to build experiences that bring providers and patients together to ease human suffering – at scale.
Visit our Telemedicine page here.
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