You’re not imagining it. Your doctor’s sending your prescription to the pharmacy over his iPhone. Shooting you your scan on his iPad. Keeping your grandma safe at home while she’s monitored remotely for her heart condition.
It’s all happening and that’s why the global telehealth market is expected to soar, or more than double, “from about $11.6 billion in 2011 to about $27.3 billion in 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate of 18.6 percent over the next five years,” according to a report by BCC Research, as reported by Healthcare IT News.
Telehealth is the use of any device for clinicians to monitor or communicate with patients, no matter where they (or you) are. And it’s being used more and more to cut back on costs, and is thought to be deployed even more to “help health care providers meet the expected increased demand for medical services after the federal health reform expands access to health insurance coverage,” according to the report, “Global Markets for Telemedicine Technologies,” according to the Healthbeat IT News story.
The study found that hospital- and clinic-based telehealth technologies were estimated to make up $8 billion of the global telehealth market in 2011, as reported by Healthcare IT News. This number will only continue to shoot up to reach nearly $17.6 billion in 2016, according to the story.
To put it all in perspective, overall health care costs rose to an all-time high of $18.2 billion, according to the National Coalition on Healthcare. That was a jump from $17.7 billion earlier in the year, up from 17.3 percent of GDP in 2009. In January of 2011, the total cost of healthcare in the U.S. swelled to $2.64 trillion dollars, according to healthcareinvestor.com.
Even more scary, healthcareinvestor.com reports that, at the current rate of growth, healthcare costs will most likely nearly double to $4.5 trillion in 2019, and at that point, data shows that it will make up 19.3 percent, or roughly one-fifth, of GDP.
Ready for some more statistics? The report estimates that home-based telehealth technologies were responsible for $3.5 billion of the global telehealth market in 2011 and will grow to reach $9.7 billion in 2016, while the telehealth technology market will grow from $4.6 billion in 2011 to $11.3 billion in 2016, and the telehealth services market will grow from $7 billion in 2011 to nearly $16 billion in 2016, according to the Healthcare IT News’ story.
Edited by Jennifer Russell