“In an age where the average consumer manages nearly all aspects of life online, it’s a no-brainer that healthcare should be just as convenient, accessible, and safe as online banking.” As CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, Jonathan Linkous has extensive insight into the rise of the telemedicine industry. While bolstered by COVID-19, telemedicine was a rapidly growing innovation before the pandemic began. In 2019, over 75% of US-based hospitals used video to connect with patients.
Right now, telehealth is a $20+ billion industry. By 2026, that figure is expected to reach $186.5 billion. This rapid growth is thanks to the removal of barriers currently taking place in the US healthcare system. While 41% of patients currently have limited access to the internet, federal broadband initiatives are closing the gap. Studies show no significant difference between in-person and telehealth diagnoses, reducing concerns of misdiagnoses occurring. Recent legislation is even expanding the reach of practitioners across state lines if they engage in telehealth services.
With new technology, healthcare can be more responsive to patient needs than ever before. Remote clinical tools and mail-in labs are increasing the ability for healthcare providers to monitor patient welfare in their daily lives. Telehealth programs serve rural communities while saving patients up to 3 hours of driving time. Telehealth is also more affordable; patients save between 17% and 75% when they use remote options. Thanks to the mix of convenience, cost savings, and comfort, 82% of Americans say telehealth makes it easier to get the care they need.
The future of medicine is just a few taps away. Ever since the 1920s ship clinicians received medical advice over the radio, technological innovation has been leading healthcare to this moment. In the coming years, only the most pressing medical care will be delivered on-site to patients.