The Everbridge Team has been “all systems go” at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference over the last couple of days. The conference has been full of entertaining keynotes, intellectual round table discussions and more!
One particular topic that has come up quite frequently in conversation is telemedicine – more specifically, trends in telemedicine and the use of telemedicine apps. With the “advancement in technologies, Internet and telephones, telemedicine is now easily accessible to the general population”  and the market is only expected to grow. In fact, “the Global Telemedicine Market has been estimated at USD 14.4 billion in 2015 and is projected to reach USD 34.0 billion by 2020” . More and more people have the ability to reach healthcare professionals through the use of an easily accessible telemedicine app.
Several other factors and trends have attributed to the growth of the telemedicine market (and subsequently the use of the telemedicine app) including:
- Increasing aged population
- Rising cost of healthcare
- Rising prevalence of chronic diseases
- Lack of infrastructure in hospitals to accommodate the large patient numbers
According to a Medscape Medical News interview with HIMSS conference speaker Robert Zimmerman, another trend to note is the growing entrepreneurial spirit of physicians: “[Physicians] are looking for ways to increase revenue by seeing more patients, increasing reimbursements, and improving quality. They are starting their own telehealth networks with and without government or payer support” .
At the conference, Zimmerman also shared that although “the baby boomers are the most resistant to telemedicine; younger patients and the chronically ill are the enthusiastic adopters” . Another speaker, John Kornak predicted that “in 5 to 10 years, we’re not going to talk about telehealth, it’s just going to be health…Physicians will routinely ask their patients after a visit if they want do a telemedicine follow-up” .
Whether or not your healthcare institution has adopted telemedicine (and to what extent), there is no denying that the telemedicine app has the ability to play a critical role in facilitating care team collaboration, in improving patient care and ultimately, in saving lives.