The current health crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic is fuelling the need to adopt technologies across business processes in the healthcare industry, especially telehealth, the report states.
“In the financial year 2018-19, the telemedicine or telehealth market size was US $ 42.2 billion. In the Covid era, it has jumped to US $ 49.5 billion, a growth of US $ 7.3 billion in less than a year,” said Harsh Shah, the founder of a Vadodara-based market research and consultancy firm.
A recent estimate by McKinsey suggests that US $ 250 billion in healthcare spending could shift to virtual care models in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It shows that the future of telemedicine or telehealth seems assured. At the same time, existing players in this space are increasing their investments to respond to the rapidly growing demand. Many other tech firms have launched telemedicine solutions and mobile apps using emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence,” the report states.
The study states that the health service providers have started shifting from convenience consults to more evidence-based results.
“They are planning to expand their telemedicine offerings for advanced speciality treatment including cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, infectious disease, neurosurgery, obstetrics and rheumatology,” the study states.
The emergence of the pandemic which put pressure on developing countries like India and China to expand healthcare access is a major factor behind the growth of telemedicine market.
The recent data published by the health ministry puts the doctor: patient ratio at 1:1,445 in India which is lower than the World Health Organization prescribed ratio of 1:1,000.
“In this scenario, citizens can utilize telemedicine to connect with respective doctors and hospitals to get the required consultation remotely,” the study further states.
Telemedicine further expanded as almost every country imposed lockdown and advised people to avoid going to crowded places which resulted in ignorance of regular medical check-ups and consultations.
Increasing penetration of smart phones, better internet connectivity and the surge in adoption of smart medical devices such as fitness trackers, blood pressure monitors, blood glucose monitors, pulse oximeters among others are also playing a significant role in the growth of telemedicine market.