U.S. Telemedicine Adoption

Although organizations in the United States are still trying to optimize the use of current telehealth solutions, telehealth is undoubtedly poised for continued growth in the U.S. (and many other countries as well).  Telemedicine is gaining momentum as it has proven to increase access to care and reduce costs via teleconsultations and remote patient monitoring.  U.S. consumers are beginning to use wearable devices to track and collect their personal health data. Over time, we will see more of a willingness to share that data with healthcare providers and intermediaries.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (“HIMSS”) conducted a survey on telemedicine adoption in the United States.  The survey polled 276 healthcare decision makers and physician executives.  Brendan FitzGerald, research director at HIMSS Analytics, discussed the results with some of us last week.  Here are some highlights of the survey’s findings, of those engaged in telemedicine:

70% utilize a two-way videoconferencing system.

57% use a hub and spoke model (audio/visual only between originating sites).

49.7% are using a patient portal or application-focused patient engagement (services delivered via portal with mobile or desktop access).

20% utilize concierge services (i.e. eVisits and online consults).

The number of respondents engaged in remote patient monitoring in the home decreased from 38% in 2014 to 30% in 2015.

52% are still uncertain about future investment in telemedicine; 28% polled are not increasing their current investment; 20% are planning on future investment on top of their current program.

26% are planning to expand their telemedicine programs to add other specialties in the near future.

34% are engaged in telemedicine primarily to develop a service that increases access and integrates care across rural areas; 22% are focused on developing a service that reduces overall costs for their organization; 18% are seeking to develop specialty services not otherwise available in the region.

The HIMSS Analytics survey can be found here.

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Contact ABISA, a consultancy specializing in solo and small group practice management.  Visit us at ABISALLC.com.

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