Telemedicine is steadily becoming the preferred mode of remote consultation. Doctors and patients are increasingly choosing to interact from behind the screen, with over 15% of physicians working in practices that use telemedicine.
Today more hospitals and providers are offering consultations and services through virtual visits than ever before, with convenience of talking to a physician through a computer or cellphone rather than potentially driving an hour to the nearest clinic. Telemedicine is expanding massively to clinics, jails and schools but the last mile connection into people’s physical home is still way off. And the biggest reason for that is the high speed internet access and insurance billing. For treating acute stroke patient via interactive video conferencing technology requires adequate internet speed and reliable services, since it’s extremely time sensitive and critical.
It’s not only the doctors and patients, but the other entities of healthcare ecosystem like government and payers who are using telehealth to promote better outcomes. It’s being used in variety of formats including web chats, phone calls and video conferencing.
Now let’s take the case of Amazon that started 20 years back selling books online, and then it completely upended the retail business, they tried to start with the books. This could be looked at what telemedicine has tried it out through urgent care and if it’s going to disrupt the healthcare as a whole.
There’s a realization that telemedicine is lagging due to the low technology adoption and slow sales cycle. Healthcare moves in a slow pace due to privacy, regulation and Government, but this is technology which goes at much faster pace, now with the technology advancement in the hospital and health system, it’s being reimagined, where they are going to care for patients and which will be much broader than the urgent care, kind of journey in the consumption of healthcare and with insurers/payers joining the fray, and with venture funding and billions in capital flowing to digital health, it is getting very very interesting. However only the time can tell if telemedicine can make its leap into Amazon’s league.