The global market for telemedicine is expected to be worth more than $34 billion by the end of 2020.
That's according to a new market research report, "Global Telemedicine Market - Growth, Trends & Forecasts (2015-2020)", published by Mordor Intelligence.
North America is the largest market globally, accounting for more than 40 percent of the global market size.
Driving growth in this market, researchers say is an increasing aged population, increasing incidences of chronic diseases and rapid rise in the software market.
Also, many healthcare systems are trying to reduce both the number of hospital visits and the length of stay in hospital, which has led a growing trend for patients to be monitored in their home environment and as a result, a growing trend for telemedicine market.
Increasing healthcare costs are providing a clear and more efficient way for telemedicine and related applications, according to the report. Telemedicine holds a great potential for the population aged 60 years and above. The scope of telemedicine is increasing in developing countries because of increasing population and increasing incidence of chronic diseases. Increase in remote monitoring of patients is also expected to propel the market.
However lack of physician support, poor cases of implementation, high technology costs, and legal and reimbursement concerns are hindering the growth of the market.
The global telemedicine market can be segmented on the basis of type (telehospitals, clinics and home), Technology (hardware, software, telecom and services), applications (teleconsultation, telepathology, telesurgery, teleradiology, teledermatology and others) and geography (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Latin America and Rest of the World).
Some of the key participants in the global telemedicine market include Aerotel Medical Systems, IBM, Intouch Technologies, Medical International Research, Medtronic, Roche, Siemens Healthcare, 3M Health, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. and a few others.
The relation between telemedicine and health IT is complementary, researchers say. Telemedicine is a method of delivering health care that makes use of health information technologies to achieve its goals.
Telehealth is a broader term that includes the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health etc., the report notes. The various technologies involved are videoconferencing, the Internet, store-and-forward imaging. While telemedicine is different from telehealth as it provides narrower scope of remote healthcare services. Telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, while telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services which include provider training, administrative meetings and continuing medical education.
Telemedicine is a subset of telehealth. It includes many medical subspecialties, such as telepediatrics, telepsychiatry, teleradiology and telecardiology. Specialties such as telepediatrics and telepsychiatry are practiced by using live videoconferencing systems. In recent years, the term telehealth has risen as a favorable expansion upon telemedicine.