The Future of Global Digital Healthcare Market, Which Grew Exponentially During the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2021
February 24. 2022
COVID – 19 threw the whole world into a mood of anxiety. The health care sector suffered from the over-capacity of patients in hospitals, to lack of oxygen, to people losing their lives. Cases were rising by the day, and the need for remote healthcare services became a priority. This would enable healthcare practitioners to deliver on-site services through telehealth solutions.
Thus, the outbreak of COVID-19 boosted the need and growth of the telehealth market. The aim is to ensure smooth functioning and promote the provision of long-distance medical healthcare services and public health management.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued across the United States, more companies in the telehealth sector quickly turned their focus on developing advanced solutions. In 2019, telehealth was not popular because only 11% of U.S. patients used remote service. However, this would later expand to 46% in 2020 as its adoption rates by both doctors and patients increased rapidly. And its growth has been impressive.
From a recent survey by Gartner analysts, which garnered more than 5,000 responses, 84% had used telehealth services, particularly during the pandemic. In addition, about 63% had used the service before and planned to increase their usage due to the benefits they had experienced.
The value of the global telehealth market was US$ 7.8 Bn in 2020, with a 7% raise at a CAGR in 2021. Further estimation outlines more market growth to $596.56 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 24.0% and the mark of S$ 15 Bn by 2028.
The good news is that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supports and improves telehealth capabilities. The institutions have introduced creativities in response to COVID-19. Other governments across the globe have also brought health policies and extra advantages in support of digital health and remote patient monitoring.
In addition, the healthcare sector is introducing new technologies. They include streaming media, teleconferencing, web, store-and-forward imaging. This is because more people are increasingly moving towards online platforms. Take, for example, Teladoc Health.
The US–based virtual healthcare company experienced a 92% increase in virtual visits in the first quarter of 2020. Additionally, the same quarter registered a 61% increase in U.S. subscription, an equivalent of 43 million users. This was above the 27 million users registered in the same quarter in 2019.
Family planning providers offer reproductive health care mainly to low–income patients. Unfortunately, the pandemic battered the rural providers alongside these low-income patients. Transitioning from offering in-person primary care to telehealth services was not all smooth. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stepped in with a $35 million funding to support the planning providers.
The funding came through the American Rescue Plan Act and will benefit about 60 Title X family planning providers. In addition, more than 40,000 rural providers will also benefit from a $7.5 billion offered by HHS. All these and other grants are based on Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program claims.
According to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, the investment will offer all Americans increased access to telehealth services.
Facing a global pandemic was a wake-up call for companies of all sizes across all industries. They had to make new advances to meet their end-users rapidly evolving needs quickly. As a result, they can keep their businesses buoyant from digital payments to contactless services and omnichannel shopping options.
But does it mean the telehealth service will be meaningless when everything goes back to normal? Not necessarily. Chances are that its use will gain momentum into 2022 as the world takes over the use of the digital space. Thus, the trend that is speaking to the future of healthcare is that telehealth is here to stay. Besides, consumers and providers have increased their willingness to use such services and it is quickly moving from a nice–to–have to a must-have service. Some of its benefits are striking. They include: –
· Cost reduction in various medical disciplines. This will come in handy for patients who do not have insurance privileges.
· It brings together physicians and care teams digitally. It also gives room for optimized workload planning, which improves physicians’ work-life balance and job satisfaction.
· Telehealth also increases adherence of patients to the requirements by their caregivers through consistent monitoring. This reduces activities such as hospital readmissions.
· It offers patients flexibility because they do not have to take time off work or travel to a health facility. This kind of convenience reduces stress even in emergencies, especially with elderly patients and children.
· The remote care option allows easy and quick patient follow–up. Thanks to intuitive software tools, care teams and patients can connect and offer personalized consultations.
In conclusion, COVID-19 has served as a door-opener for the healthcare sector. Hence, continued availability and promotion of telehealth may be the proper role. Meanwhile, Telehealth policy changes may also play a significant role in supporting increased care even as the world looks forward to the endemic.