Most of the elderly population may recollect their experience with medical institutions that involved waiting in a long line for a short visit with their family doctor. Emergency cases were given the priority, upon which if a wealthy and connected patient arrived at the clinic, he/she would be given special attention, often resulting in jealous onlookers. The advent of telecommunication technology has created a favorable environment for the present generation by increasing awareness and providing the luxury of knowledge and connectivity at the tip of their hands. Rising standard of living and ever growing population translates to a large number of patient populations willing to pay any amount to get the best healthcare service but within their restricted timeframe. Telemedicine evolved in the right environment, providing a large number of individuals a quality healthcare service at the convenience of their respective residencies. Today it has become indistinguishable from the overall healthcare system and is considered to replace and revolutionize the existing traditional healthcare processes.
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Transparency Market Research, a leading U.S. based market research firm, analyzes the global market for telemedicine and predicts a compounded annual growth rate of 14.3% for the period 2014 to 2020.
According to this research, the global telemedicine market is expected to grow with this attractive CAGR during the forecast period of 2014 to 2020. The global telemedicine industry is broadly categorized on the basis of service types and medical specialties, both of which are frequently observed as the two sides of the same plane, of telemedicine market. The global telemedicine services category is further segmented into tele-consultation, tele-monitoring, tele-education, tele-training, tele-surgery, and tele-care. Among these sub segments, the market for tele-consultation exhibits the largest share in 2013, whereas tele-monitoring shows the highest growth rate for the forecast period i.e. 2014 – 2020. Increased standard of living accompanied by hectic lifestyles and increased demand for personal attention has lead to the rise in tele-consultation services. On the other hand, rising number of chronic patients suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular and neurological conditions continue to propel the growth of tele-monitoring services in the future.
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The medical specialties segment of the global telemedicine market is additionally categorized into cardiology, neurology, dermatology, orthopedics, emergency care, internal medicine, gynecology and the other specialty areas that include gastroenterology, pediatric care, ophthalmology and dentistry. Among these specialties, the market for telemedicine in dermatology accounted for the largest market share in 2013 whereas the market for telemedicine in neurology is estimated to be the fastest growing segment for the forecast period. The increased awareness of medical abnormalities and rising concern for personal appearance has encouraged the dermatology aspect of telemedicine, whereas increased stress and social isolation has lead to a rise in psychiatric and neurological problems, thereby catapulting the neurology application of telemedicine. The leading players in this market are CISCO Systems, Inc., AMD Global Telemedicine, Inc., Polycom Corp. and McKesson Corporation, to name a few. Among these CISCO Systems, Inc was found to have the largest global presence, offering a wide range of telemedicine services globally. The other companies include: Agfa HealthCare NV, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., AMD Global Telemedicine, Inc., CARDIOCOM, LLC, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Honeywell HomMed LLC, InTouch Technologies Inc., LifeWatch AG, Medtronic, Inc., OBS Medical Ltd., Siemens Healthcare, and McKesson Corp, to name a few.
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Geographically, the global telemedicine market is lead by the North American region and it is followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. The Asia Pacific market is forecast to grow at an attractive growth rate during the forecast period of 2014 to 2020 and is expected to surpass the North America market in future. The contributing factors include: large majority of rural population, low penetration of healthcare facilities, favorable & supportive government, low technology cost & other overheads, adoption of novel technologies, growing awareness of basic healthcare, and the fact that Asia is the largest & fastest growing population in the world. In addition, tax benefits provided by governments for establishing telecommunication infrastructure and telemedicine centers further propel the growth of telemedicine in the Asia Pacific region.