Telehealth Services Expected to Grow to $1 Billion by End of 2017
Recent data from the American Telehealth Association shows radiology leading the use of telehealth for patient care. About 20 million Americans benefitted by receiving care via telehealth and in 8 million of those cases the care was from radiology. In comparison, 1.9 million were cardiac monitoring cases, 750,000 were online primary care or urgent care sessions, 650,000 were neurophysiological monitoring cases and another 500,000 were mental health sessions.
At the same time, overall growth of telehealth as a care delivery method is booming. Modern Healthcare reports that 75 percent of employers plan to include a telehealth option for their employee health insurance benefits by 2017. At health providers, the focus of telehealth implementation is shifting from interventions, such as telestroke, to broader, integrated services. These trends, among others, will create a five-fold increase in the value of the market by 2017. An Accenture report valued it at $200 million in 2014 and predicts it will hit $1 billion in 2017.
Taken together, these two trends point to the standardization of telehealth use for the sharing and exchange of patient images. Given that radiology is already digital and that telehealth technology is also digital, it make sense that the two would come together to allow providers to share patient images to coordinate patient care. With telehealth connections, a specialist can view images of a patient located across a hospital campus or across a city, state or country, or even across the world, to provide diagnosis and treatment.
Integrating Telehealth Communications with Enterprise-Image Viewing
Now that telehealth is becoming a standard, Integrating telehealth communications with electronic health records and enterprise-image viewers is the next frontier for health IT. ResolutionMD® medical imaging software already offers robust communications component, allowing providers to not only simultaneously view patient images, they can also discuss them in real-time via voice and video connections using a tablet, computer or smartphone.
This feature not only allows providers to have a real-time conversation from within the enterprise image viewer, it also allows them to see one another’s faces while doing so. By enabling this capability on smartphones and tablets, using this enterprise image viewing platform shrinks the capabilities of a large multi-component telehealth system down to the simplicity of mobile devices.
ResolutionMD can also be accessed from within electronic health records, bringing telehealth capabilities to EHRs as well. Providers can launch the image viewer from within their EHR and then initiate video communications with another provider from the image viewer, making the ability to communicate in real-time a matter of a series of clicks.
Learn more about how enterprise-image viewers are playing a critical role in the use of telehealth.