A look into the usage and growth statistics of the telemedicine industry compiled from the top medical publications and organizations.
•July 27th 2020
The global Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we work, the way we play, and the way we approach healthcare. We're not sure where we will land once we get through this. Still, understanding the usage and growth of the telemedicine industry in the recent past can help us gain a better understanding of what future adoption rates might look like.
For web and app developers, it could be time to steer our careers into a new industry or focus on the niche we're already in. Being the analytical thinkers that we are, informed decisions are fueled by statistics. So, here are some numbers pulled from leaders in the virtual health industry to answer some of your questions.
Here's what this telemedicine fact sheet can tell you:
- How Do People View Telemedicine and is it Effective?
- How Much Do Virtual Health Exams Cost?
- Is Modern Telehealth Tech Secure and Dependable?
- How Common Was Telemedicine Pre-Coronavirus?
- How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Virtual Healthcare Ecosystem?
How Do People View Telemedicine and is it Effective?
- 74% of millennials prefer telehealth visits to in-person doctor exams (GlobalMed).
- Over the next five years, consumers expect to make greater use of virtual healthcare opportunities (Bain).
- Up to 89% of patients are willing to accept telemedicine as a sufficient form of medical care (MDPI).
- 85% of patients who receive telemedicine services are satisfied with their medical care (MDPI).
- When compared with in-office visits, virtual healthcare visits were regarded by 62.6% of patients and 59% of clinicians to be just as effective as in-office care (ResearchGate).
- 52.5% of clinicians report more effective treatment with virtual healthcare visits vs in-office treatment (ResearchGate).
- 93% of clinicians believe that telehealth is an "acceptable" method and 60% believe it is a "very effective" method of patient care overall (Neurology).
- 89% of clinicians report telemedicine as at least a satisfactory method of follow-up care for patients (Neurology).
- 5% of virtual healthcare visits result in the need for an in-person examination (Neurology).
- In some cases, telemedicine has better outcomes than in-person healthcare visits (OECD).
- Banner Health's Ambulatory Care program, which involves telehealth, reduced hospitalizations by 49.5% and 30-day readmissions by 75% in the first year (FCC).
- The Veteran's Administration has administered over 2.29 million telemedicine interactions to over 782,000 veterans (FCC).
- Virtual health visits implemented with veterans led to 25% fewer days spent in inpatient care and 19% fewer hospital admissions (FCC).
- 93% of telepsychiatry patients feel that they can present the same information over the phone as they can at a face-to-face visit (PubMed).
- 96% of telepsychiatry patients are satisfied with virtual mental healthcare (PubMed).
- 85% of telepsychiatry patients are comfortable with their ability to share with a mental health professional in a virtual environment (PubMed).
- Implementing a telehealth platform can increase patient recruitment and retention by 81.5% (Avera eCare).
- 82% of consumers view digital options as the best way to monitor health (McKinsey).
How Much Do Virtual Health Exams Cost?
- Telehealth visits typically range from $49 to $250 per month (AAFP).
- Telemedicine can reduce the costs of doctor visits by 10-15% (MDPI).
- In Maryland, Frederick Memorial Hospital's 2016 virtual healthcare platform rollout reduced the cost of patient care by 50% (mHealth Intelligence).
- In Philadelphia, Jefferson County Hospital’s telemedicine platform, JeffConnect, resulted in cost savings from $300 to $1,500 per visit to the hospital and $19 to $120 per visit to patients (Health Leaders).
- Telehealth technologies are projected to save the US healthcare industry $305 billion annually (FCC).
- Remote health monitoring in one diabetes cohort resulted in better outcomes and estimated cost savings of $3,855 per patient per year (FCC).
- Banner Health's Ambulatory Care program, which involves telehealth, reduced overall costs by 34.5% in the first year (FCC).
Is Modern Telehealth Tech Secure and Dependable?
- 40% of telehealth encounters have reported technical challenges (Neurology).
- In some cases, poor audio (19%), poor video (13%), and audio interruption (9%) have a negative impact on the reliability of virtual healthcare visits (Neurology).
- Only 20% of telemedicine practitioners have in-house security officers and typically rely on external security vendors (AMA).
- Technical barriers to telehealth include lack of bandwidth (19%) and cybersecurity (15%) (HealthTech).
- Only technology that meets HIPAA standards for security and privacy may be used in telemedicine in the US (AHIMA).
How Common Was Telemedicine Pre-Coronavirus?
- From 2016 through 2019, the use of telehealth in some medical specialties doubled from 14% to 28% (AMA).
- In the five years preceding 2019, telemedicine had grown by 44% (GlobalMed).
- In 2019, 66% of consumers were willing to try virtual health exams, 8% already had, and two-thirds were using personal health monitoring devices (American Well).
- In 2019, 22% of practitioners used telemedicine to examine patients versus only 5% in 2015 (Ziegler).
- In 2019, the US Department of Veteran's Affairs reported a 17% increase of telehealth services to veterans over the prior fiscal year (VA).
How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Virtual Healthcare Ecosystem?
- The US Federal government has lifted previous restrictions on telehealth services administered by medical professionals in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, adding more than 80 additional services (JAMA).
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have begun to allow reimbursement for telemedicine services in response to COVID-19 (CDC).
- In 2020, consumer adoption of telehealth services has jumped to 49% from 11% in 2019 (McKinsey).
- Overall patient volume decreased by 41% in the first two weeks following the implementation of telemedicine in response to the novel Coronavirus in 2020 (Neurology).
- Healthcare practitioners now provide 50 to 175 times the number of telemedicine visits in 2020 than they did in previous years (McKinsey).
- As a result of Coronavirus, up to $250 billion of US healthcare spend could come from virtual medicine (McKinsey).
- In 2019, the global telemedicine market accounted for $45.5 million and is projected to account for $175.5 million by 2026 (Statista).
As these statistics show, both consumers and healthcare professionals are happily adopting virtual medicine as an effective means of care. Plus, telemedicine costs less than in-office visits. With the right tech and security measures, the benefits of remote health exams could surpass preconceived expectations.
From the look of things, telehealth is more than just an emergency response to a crisis. These statistics seem to signal that virtual exams are likely to become a much more prominent part of patient care than anyone could have predicted. So, communication tools that help health practitioners stay connected with their patients are more valuable and relevant than they’ve ever been.