Telemedicine Trends & Healthcare Market Statistics for 2021
Telemedicine, an industry on the rise since the 00s, has seen a boom in users and a relaxation of the regulatory constraints that have been holding the industry back. Now, as much of the world starts the transition back to a post-Covid version of normal, a question has to be asked: can Telemedicine sustain its growth rate into 2021? If adding video chat to every health app was the first step, what are the telemedicine trends for 2021 and moving forward?
In this post, we're exploring trends and telemedicine statistics for 2021 and beyond, as well as sharing some of our own experience working on telehealth products.
Current trends in telehealth
According to research by Mordor Intelligence, the telemedicine market is poised to grow from the current approximately $38 billion with a CAGR of 28% to reach $168 billion in 2026.
The market is divided into three main segments by source of healthcare: Telehospitals, Telehomes, and Mobile Health. All three niches of the industry are expected to grow.
Telehome, also known as Telehomecare, is an industry term for home-administered healthcare and health monitoring. It's one of the largest telemedicine trends of the past year.
The largest market driver boosting this trend is the growing number of chronic diseases — 133 million Americans have at least one. This need for better, more comprehensive continuous treatment, combined with technological innovations, result in new services being offered and more patients expecting convenience in the services offered to them.
At the same time, more Americans in rural areas, the ones who have the most difficult time accessing quality care locally, have reliable connections to the internet that allow them to receive this type of care.
Millennials total 72 million in the US, and range in age from 25 to 40. They were the highest-spending generation in 2020, but research shows that those aged 18-34 are most likely to save, instead of splurge, when it comes to health and wellness.
Together with Gen Z, the oldest of whom are in their mid-twenties, their number grows to 140 million. As the most tech-friendly and tech-savvy generations on the lookout to save and receive more convenient services, they present a unique market for telehospitals to proliferate further and it's likely to stay one of the top telehealth trends for 2021 and beyond.
One of the largest telehealth industry trends in general is making health more accessible. Mobile healthcare is perhaps the broadest term in the telehealth industry, encompassing everything from apps that help the user conduct breathing exercises to connecting to healthcare professionals directly and more.
The most significant market driver boosting Mobile Health is the proliferation of cell phones and tablets among the population. There are approximately 275 million smartphone users in the United States and that number is only expected to grow. Moreover, smartphones are becoming smarter and can do more things, including connect to more medical devices, consolidate that data, and send them to doctors or even synthesize a likely diagnosis.
Future trends in telemedicine
IoT and IoMT
The Internet of Things is nothing new, and collecting health data using an external device isn't, either. But a growing telehealth market trend is about connecting more devices within a specific goal of improving health, such as glucose monitors, nutrition monitors, mobility data, et al. This enables healthcare professionals to make better decisions by using a wider array of data that is accurate and up-to-date. It's not necessarily a new way to serve healthcare that Telemedicine purports to be, rather an enhanced way of facilitating the administration of healthcare.
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Big Data
The full potential of AI and ML are yet to be found, especially as they concern healthcare. This is a trend in telemedicine that will continue to grow and develop well into the future. This technology is currently being deployed for the purposes of pandemic detection, thermal screening, CT scan analysis, stroke prediction and prevention, and more.
And with the advent of Big Data, solutions that can identify viable health trends and perform forecasting based on telehealth statistics will pave the way for in-depth research providing previously unavailable insights into society’s healthcare needs.
AR and VR
These technologies show promise to benefit patients dealing with serious health issues, including help stroke victims overcome their limitations and help patients with dementia or cognitive impairments. Robotic surgery is another area of healthcare that benefits from augmented reality technology. The field is expected to experience substantial growth in the next few years and reach almost $15 billion by 2027.
Embedding a patient’s electronic health record (EHR) in telehealth solutions is an important factor in the ability to productively use the information. Statistics indicate that a minority of hospitals and healthcare systems are currently integrating their EHR systems with telehealth solutions making this a promising field for software developers.
As it stands, the issue of security is one of the larger ongoing telemedicine trends right now, and EHR integration is a massive piece of the puzzle. The security of individuals’ health-related information will become more important as EHR-embedded solutions become more widely available. Applications need to be built to prioritize data security to protect the sensitive information they contain.
In fact, a significant reason for the reluctance of using telemedicine solutions is the perception of the lack of security, propelled by the recent deluge of news related to security breaches.
Health Level 7 is not a new trend in telehealth, but still a growing one, especially as a response to the question of data security discussed above. It's a telecommunications standard used internationally in facilitating data transfers between different healthcare applications at all levels, including healthcare administration programs.
Internet of Behaviors
This is a term coined by Gartner in their 2021 telehealth trends report. IoB goes one step beyond ML, AI, and Big Data to combine information from a host of sources, including behavioral data from internet usage and more to come up with recommendations for better health choices for the end user. Similar existing algorithms in social media, digital advertising, the insurance industry, and the banking system have shown that human behavior can be both predicted and changed significantly. And improving human behavior is, after all, the key to improving health.
Company Experience in Telemedicine Solution Development
New and existing businesses that want to capitalize on current technology trends in the telehealth industry need an experienced partner to guide them through the intricacies of such development.
Softermii has the necessary experience to bring your idea to market. We have a proven track record of success as can be seen in these case studies that highlight our work on the HIPAA Video and MedRealtime projects. These healthcare-focused development efforts demonstrate our know-how in working with
Partnering with developers that are experienced with building solutions for the healthcare industry is a great strategy for companies breaking into the lucrative telehealth market. They will have already addressed many of the issues that will materialize during product development and be able to streamline project completion.
Softermii's CEO Takeaway
If you take away one thing from our telehealth market forecast, let it be this: the industry is walking in seven-league boots. Industry insiders are predicting that by the end of 2021, telehealth may already be a crucial element in the overall experience of providing telehealth and that, in the future, the two terms may be indistinguishable from one another.
Telehealth statistics that concern usage and adoption rates are already impressive, after the Covid-19 pandemic has forced both users and organizations up the adoption curve. For businesses that want to get in on the growing trend, the best time was yesterday and the second-best time is now. Get in touch with us if you'd like some help.