Telehealth — or telemedicine — has become the preferred form of care for many, especially after COVID-19. Telemedicine allows patients and practitioners to communicate long-distance with one another, thereby increasing care accessibility.
During the pandemic, about 40% of consumers exposed to telehealth services said they wanted to use them moving forward. One report found that the use of telehealth services is 38 times higher than before 2020. The telehealth market is expected to reach $186.5 billion by 2026, meaning the rising demand for telehealth services won’t disappear anytime soon.
Here are the top three virtual healthcare trends to watch for in the coming years.
Telemedicine has proven valuable for patients who require remote monitoring or routine follow-up care for specific health conditions, including neurological disorders and diabetes. Telehealth appointments also help those living in rural areas with limited healthcare services.
In addition, telehealth benefits those who need access to counseling for mental health conditions. For many, the pandemic brought with it many mental health challenges. Depression and anxiety increased by 25% globally in 2020. With virtual counseling, patients can receive care anywhere or on the go. These advantages increase care accessibility and improve patient privacy by eliminating the need for in-office visits.
Among telehealth patients, 60% agreed telehealth is more convenient than in-person care. With teleconsulting services, patients can text or chat with their practitioner via an online portal. Teleconsulting allows patients to receive care, advice, support, education and monitoring from the comfort of their homes.
Teleconsulting also benefits people who want to avoid hospitals or health clinics because they are wary of becoming ill, including older adults, immunocompromised individuals or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. For example, older adults found telehealth services beneficial during the height of the pandemic — when there was an increased concern about contracting COVID-19 and other infections.
3. Medical Tourism
Medical tourism — or traveling abroad for medical treatment — has risen in popularity post-pandemic. During COVID-19, traveling abroad for elective procedures or other surgeries was challenging. Many of these patients deferred to telehealth solutions, sending their medical records through email or web servers for diagnosis and personalized treatment plans.
As a result, there has been an uptick in the need for custom, cloud-based IT systems and secure data transmission software.
Trust MicroHealth for Custom Healthcare IT Service Solutions
Telemedicine trends will continue to evolve as time goes on. MicroHealth is a premier IT service provider that can prepare your healthcare organization for changes in the global telemedicine market. Our veteran-led team of industry experts specializes in white-glove IT services, including telehealth support services, cloud-based network development, EHR system creation, cybersecurity services and healthcare interoperability solutions.
In fact, federal partners like the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of State have trusted MicroHealth to help deploy, maintain, or augment their telehealth solutions.
If you want to create a new software solution to support virtual medical appointments or enhance the care capabilities of your organization, connect with MicroHealth today. Fill out our online contact form to learn more about our health informatics services and support solutions.