Thursday, August 18, 2022

Cloud & 5G to allow for 765 million teleconsultations globally by 2025

Many tech enthusiasts consider that the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world at just the right time, describing it as the spark that ignited a tidal wave of disruptive technological innovations.  

Rollout of services and products were accelerated at a skyrocketing pace trickling down to a myriad of other solutions that would have taken years to hit the market.  

It is obvious that MedTech has been the champion of this health crisis; especially when technology and medicine joined forces to produce solutions that had direct impact on the wellbeing of our society.  

At the forefront of these hurried innovations was telemedicine.  

Telemedicine has witnessed a whopping level of growth ever since the COVID-19 breakout in Wuhan, China. To the extent that that the number of teleconsultations performed globally will reach 765 million in 2025; rising from 422 million in 2021, representing 80 percent growth, a recent study by Juniper Research highlighted.  

Teleconsultations enable patients and healthcare providers to interact remotely using dedicated healthcare portals, apps or consumer video calling platforms. 

The report found that, for teleconsultation services to become an integral element of healthcare provision, platforms must develop solutions that cater to differing capacities of regional healthcare sectors.  

It identified cloud services and 5G connectivity as key to enabling local healthcare providers to benefit from remote teleconsultation technologies. 

North America & Europe Leading Market Development 

The new report, Telemedicine: Emerging Technologies, Regional Readiness & Market Forecasts 2021-2025, predicts that the average patient globally will use teleconsultation services 3.6 times per year.  

However, the need for mobile devices and connectivity will limit uptake of teleconsultation services to developed regions and, accordingly, it predicts that over 50 percent of teleconsultations will occur in North America and Europe by 2025. 

“Teleconsultation services require high bandwidth, which is often unavailable in developing regions; limiting the impacts of services in these areas. However, the report predicts that 5G technologies can be used as a last-mile solution to underpin service provision in areas where Internet connectivity is sparse or inadequate,” research author Adam Wears explained. 

Savings of $21 Billion in Healthcare Costs 

The report also acknowledged that, by virtue of their ability to streamline administrative and patient‑facing tasks, telemedicine technologies can deliver significant cost savings for healthcare providers, worth over $21 billion by 2025 globally.  

It predicts that “the integration of consumer healthcare wearables into teleconsultation services will enable healthcare providers to more efficiently obtain patients’ health data without the need for a physical visit.”  

As a result, the report urges teleconsultation platforms to develop cloud-based services that are capable of securely housing sensitive healthcare information.