Telemedicine allows healthcare professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients in remote locations by using telecommunications and information technology as medium of communication between patients and doctors. Telemedicine is also referred to as telehealth or e-health. Telemedicine enables patients in remote locations to access medical expertise easily, efficiently and without travel. Telemedicine provides more efficient use of limited expert resources to monitor patients in remote locations whenever it is required without leaving their facility. In addition, this technology helps local practitioners to consult with their peers and with other clinical experts when it is required. Telemedicine further allows them to participate in seminars and educational conferences they would not normally have access to without travel and time away from their patient.
Telemedicine has now become standard medical practice and is in daily use across various developed and developing countries as a cost effective solution to deliver healthcare treatment patients in remote locations. Over 10,000 peer review papers have been published over the past 20 years supporting the clinical effectiveness and cost savings of telemedicine. Telemedicine services found its application various medical service areas such as pathology, cardiology, dermatology, pediatrics, genetics, radiology, psychiatry, diabetes control, among others.
The global telemedicine market is primarily driven by reduced healthcare costs, increased use of mobile devices for healthcare and increase in government funding. In addition, rise in base of geriatric population, increased medical treatments in remote locations, technological advancements and rise in demand for quality healthcare further propelling the growth of this market.
Despite the presence of several drivers, the market for telemedicine is facing some challenges and a major challenge is the lack of common standards. The specific standards of telehealth applications for various medical service segments still needs to be defined appropriately by healthcare administrators in various countries. Another challenge is the management of large volume of data that is increasing exponentially as a result of advances in telehealth technology.
Geographically, the market for telemedicine is led by North America and is followed by Europe and APAC. Strong regulatory support, early adoption and consumer awareness made US, the leading country for telemedicine market.
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Some of the prominent players of this market include Aerotel Medical Systems Limited, AMD Telemedicine, Inc., Apollo PACS Inc., GE Healthcare Ltd., Polycom, among others.
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