Telehealth users forecast to exceed 55m worldwide by 2016
31 January 2009
A new report from InMedica forecasts exceptional growth in the number
of telehealth subscribers over the next decade due to the increased use
of telehealth services for chronic disease management in professional
care in tandem with growth in the consumer driven market for telehealth
The InMedica report, Opportunities in Telehealth: A Long Term
View (2006 to 2016), forecasts that the total number of telehealth
subscribers worldwide will increase to 55.5 million by 2016,
representing a forecast CAGR of almost 72%.
The combined factors of ageing global population, increasing
prevalence of chronic diseases, and the increasing public expectation
for higher standards of care are all making telehealth services more
attractive to patients as well as the healthcare providers.
Through regular monitoring and shifting of the treatment of many
chronic conditions from medical institutions into patients’ homes,
telehealth will help doctors manage patient care more efficiently. In
fact, telehealth initiatives have been heralded as a potential saviour
for heavily over-burdened healthcare systems.
While the latest telehealth trials have demonstrated that a well
thought out telehealth system can both save costs and improve patient
recovery, currently the number of telehealth subscribers is quite small.
According to InMedica the number stood at well under a million in
2008. There are several market barriers that have to date prevented the
more widespread use of telehealth, such as the limited choice of
telehealth products, the lack of data standards, doubts about data
security and the integrity of data transmission and the limited
reimbursement for telehealth.
However, many of these barriers are now being overcome. For example,
recent data standards, such as the Bluetooth SIG Health Device Profile
(HDP), USB Personal Healthcare Device Class and the ISO/IEEE 11073, will
reduce development costs and speed time to market for manufacturers of
wireless home use medical devices.
The first implementations of the Bluetooth SIG’s HDP are expected to
hit the market in 2009.
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