28 Dec 2014
The year of 2014 was a big year for telemedicine. The idea of using technology to provide remote health care has been around for years, but it really started to take off this year with the proliferation of wearable devices, and providers starting to embrace seeing patients through video chat.
In July, Dignity Health unveiled telemedicine robots to bring in specialist physicians from remote locations. Then, in October, Google unveiled a new ‘talk with a doctor now’ video chat service. Even pharmacies got into the act, with remote medical kiosks popping up in Walgreens, CVS, and Wal-mart.
There are several indicators that 2015 will be the year that telemedicine really takes off. Read any predictions related to healthcare, and telemedicine is central in those discussions. Here are just some of the indicators:
- The Global Telemedicine market in 2016 is predicted to be $27 billion, with Virtual Health Services making up $16 billion of that amount (BBC Research and Towers Watson).
- By 2018, 65 percent of interactions with healthcare organizations will be done via mobile devices, and by 2018 70 percent of them will have apps, offer wearables, do remote health monitoring, and even offer virtual care (IDC).
- More than one-third of the money Google Ventures invested in 2014 went to healthcare and life-sciences companies.