While many people experienced telehealth for the first time during the pandemic, studies show that the trend is here to stay. The US 2022 Patient Consumer Survey revealed that of all patients who participated in telehealth since July 2021, 76 percent would prefer to receive care virtually in the future. It’s no wonder that providers are embracing virtual healthcare. The 2022 Optum Provider Telehealth Use and Experience Survey reports that 93 percent of providers indicate they are between somewhat or very likely to continue using telehealth, even after the pandemic.
With so many patients and providers embracing telehealth, the market is definitely rising. In the United States alone, Frost and Sullivan estimates the telehealth market will grow seven-fold by 2025, for a five-year compounded annual growth rate of 38.2 percent. With such widespread adoption, telehealth has the potential to transform the healthcare experience and improve access to quality care. Thanks to the audio and video technology that makes telehealth possible, patients can receive regular checkups, access mental health appointments and can virtually visit hospitalized loved ones. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, telehealth can help traditionally underserved communities access the care they deserve.
Three Global Trends Changing Healthcare Delivery
The telehealth market is being driven by many global trends that are likely to disrupt existing healthcare models, give birth to new lines of service and make virtual care a norm. Three of the major trends are:
- Social equity in healthcare: A July 2020 report from the U.S. Ways and Means Committee reported, “The health disparities in rural and urban underserved communities across America are stark, costing billions of dollars in additional expenditures for related care, lost productivity and premature death.” With high-quality telehealth, providers can reach more underserved patients with face-to-face care, overcoming location, transportation and mobility limitations. These challenges are very common for underserved populations, and they are by no means the only challenges.
- Performance-based healthcare: Performance-based or value-based care, which links payments to outcome, is on the rise. This trend is driven by initiatives such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Coalition for Value in Healthcare. Many of the services that make these models effective, including preventative care, post-operative follow-ups and routine care for chronic diagnoses, can be delivered effectively through telehealth services at a lower cost than in-office visits.
- Competition from non-traditional sources: Perceived convenience has become a major factor as patients choose to seek healthcare outside a traditional provider’s office, and it’s happening more frequently. By offering high-quality telehealth services, practices can ensure healthcare is convenient for patients, providing quality care whenever and whenever it’s needed.
High-Quality Virtual Healthcare
Although telehealth is gaining positive traction, one of the major hurdles in this space is reliable technology. Many practices rely on dated audio and video solutions, which can result in unclear communications with patients in critical areas, like understanding symptoms and receiving care instructions. In fact, 50 percent of respondents in the 2022 Optum Survey named “quality of telemedicine video/audio technology” a top frustration, and 40 percent said “better audio/video technology” would improve their appointments. The good news is that this frustration can be addressed by integrating reliable, professional-grade audio and video technology, so your practice can offer high-quality virtual healthcare.
To learn more about how high-quality virtual care can enhance your practice, read our white paper, “Three Global Trends That Make It Critical to Get Telehealth Right.”