Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe at the beginning of 2020, the healthcare industry, among many others, has never been the same. In the wake of the lockdown, this expansive industry had to adjust the way it operates. Not just that doctors and clinicians had to turn to emerging technologies in order to provide better services, but the increased demand for telehealth services from consumers has made it possible to radically transform this industry.
Let's dive deeper into the changes in the healthcare industry and reveal some astounding statistics that prove telehealth is at a new height. All of these show that remote care has a great potential to become the norm and the investment in telehealth software services will become mandatory for clinics that want to enhance their productivity while providing superior services to their patients.
Why has Telehealth Become a Growing Trend?
Experts believe that around 20% of the entire healthcare market can be virtualized. This means that around 20% of all emergency room visits and 24% of outpatient volume could be reduced. Overall, these changes could allow the healthcare system to save up to $250 million in costs and invest these funds in innovation and research.
Migrating towards a digital-first approach will not just enable clinics to keep their businesses running, but also grow like never before. This trend will be driven forward by the need of today’s patients to benefit from superior telehealth services from the comfort of their homes.
How is Telehealth Becoming the New Norm?
1. Patients are fully embracing virtual care
Historically speaking, the healthcare industry has been quite adamant to change, especially when compared to customer-centric industries such as travel or retail. However, recent global events have set things in motion, triggering a series of actions that are slowly changing the face of the healthcare industry. The latest data from Mckinsey shows that “telehealth use has increased 38X from the pre-COVID-19 baseline".
As it turns out, patients are more than willing to embrace this digital revolution and are eager to capitalize on the benefits of telehealth. The telemedicine market, according to the latest statistics, is expected to reach a whopping $186 billion by 2026, a 400% growth since 2020.
2. Telemedicine enhanced patients’ access to treatment and healthcare services
Statistics related to telemedicine keep pouring in, proving that patients are more than willing to make the switch to digital healthcare. First off, telemedicine can save patients up to 100 minutes worth of their time. Second, telemedicine can dramatically improve the wellbeing of patients, enabling them to easily access and receive the medical care they need, without any location or cultural barriers.
For millennials, these numbers look even more promising. Instead of driving one hour to a clinic and then waiting another 30 minutes for a 30 to 60-minute appointment, this digitally-native niche prefers to stay in front of their laptops and enjoy the convenience and immediacy of virtual care.
Add to that the fact that telehealth allows millennials to gain unrestricted access to doctors from all across the globe. Since millennials place a high value on convenience, telehealth is perfectly adapting to their lifestyles.
What’s more, according to the American Journal of Accountable Care, telehealth has been shown to dramatically improve patient satisfaction and long-term care management. Because patients take better care of their health, they get to live happier, more fulfilled lives.
3. Clinics can reach untapped markets using telehealth
In order to properly respond to the coronavirus threat, HIPAA created new rules specifically for the United States market, to enable physicians to practice their duty without having to abide by the old rules. More specifically, the authorities in various developed countries permitted clinics and hospitals to treat their patients at a distance, using telemedicine and virtual tools.
These new regulations enabled clinics from all over the globe to tap into a huge market of patients who would avoid booking a meeting unless absolutely necessary. Now, patients are more willing to have online meetings from the comfort of their homes, without having to perform tedious research such as looking for the best doctor for their needs or spending half a day driving to the hospital and back.
This level of unprecedented flexibility, coupled with the patients’ willingness to use telemedicine, clears a large path for physicians to look outside of their turf and reach new target audiences in different markets. Now, time-starved patients can be easily convinced to embark on their own journey towards a healthier, happier life, thanks to telehealth.
The Expansion of Telehealth Moves Forward
Telehealth can be used to increase access to necessary care in those remote areas with certain levels of shortages, enhance the patients’ experience, and drastically improve health outcomes. Clinics that act now and invest in telehealth services can gain an edge over their competition by modernizing their care delivery systems.
If you want to learn more about telehealth, grasp the benefits of this approach, and discover how it can allow your clinic to better meet the needs of your patients, contact us now.