Telemedicine practitioners can feel isolated. They are often among a handful of people in their immediate practice or hospital who are using telemedicine to perfect care, improve outcomes, and make their lives easier.
The truth, however, is that healthcare providers using telemedicine are part of a large, growing, and thriving community. When we started working in this field almost two decades ago, telemedicine was rare. Now, however, the most committed, innovative healthcare providers all use telemedicine in one form or another.
Telemedicine is actually thriving. Here are 5 reasons why:
- Politics are catching up. As this article details, parity laws are going into effect in several states. Also, the Telehealth Modernizaion Act -- to establish a clear definition of telehealth -- is on its way to going through. "Telehealth is a major contributing factor to increased health care quality, convenience, and lower costs," said Reps. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Bill Johnson (R-Ohio)
- Telemedicine is reaching critical mass. Research and Markets is predicting 18.5 % growth in global telemedicine in the next 4 years.
- New providers are more familiar with technology. For some of the same reasons as we highlighted in our discussion of concierge medicine, and as this article discusses, new providers are adopting practices like telemedicine at higher rates.
- Providers are using smartphones in their practice. According to Verizon, "38% of physicians with smartphones use medical apps on a daily basis, and that number is expected to increase to 50% this year. Two-thirds of healthcare providers said that implementing or improving their use of mobile technologies is a high or mid-level priority during the next 12 months."
We're thrilled to know that providers are connecting better, people are collaborating, and patient care is improving as telemedicine becomes more widespread.
If you're looking into the options, get our Quick Guide to Telemedicine here:
Image courtesy of thomaslevinson on flickr.com, used under Creative Commons rights.