2020 was an extremely difficult year for everyone, and 2021 has shown minimal improvement, but if there’s one positive thing to be said for the effects of the COVID pandemic, it is the skyrocketing use of telemedicine.
While much of the world halted to a stand-still at the onset of the pandemic, the healthcare industry soldiered on at a steady pace, thanks to the availability and use of telemedicine. Currently, telehealth is a 20+ billion dollar industry, and is expected to reach $185 billion within the next five years. Ninety percent of physicians now have experience with remote treatment and 77% of physicians want to make the shift to telehealth the norm, rather than the exception.
Many of the most common health services can be provided remotely. Clinical services such as diagnoses, symptom screenings, mental health services, low-risk urgent care, specialist consultations, and nursing staff support can all be provided via telehealth. The reaches of non-clinical telehealth are even broader with telepharmacy services, chronic condition support, physical and occupational therapy, and facilitation of provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing education. On top of all this, telehealth can increase patient satisfaction and retention by 81.5%.
Telehealth is convenient, cost-effective, and comfortable, and 82% of Americans say that telehealth has made it easier for them to get the care they need.