Telemedicine is defined as the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve patient's health status according to the American Telemedicine Association. The potential benefits of telemedicine are so far reaching that it is developing fast and, becoming increasingly known.
The major trends in the telemedicine market is the increasing demand for mobility anytime, anywhere acts as a major growth factor. The need to reduce healthcare costs, reducing supply of physicians and reimbursements issues are currently the trend factors in the telemedicine market. Reimbursement framework has been changing on a regional basis and this proper lack of uniformity has been an issue in the product development category of the telemedicine market. There are certain areas where the scenario is pro-telemedicine and certain regions where it is against the concept of telemedicine.
There are many states debating the telemedicine reimbursement and access. New legislation is being encouraged as the technology has a strong base and has become a normal healthcare service. Recently, In Washington state, a new bill has become a law. This law would expand the number of telemedicine services to the insurance providers and Medicaid will have to reappurse. This will improve the patient quality of life and reduce healthcare costs. It has been passed unanimously.
Whereas the scenario is totally different in other regions where the perspective totally negates the Washington state's law. The Arkansas House of representatives has voted down on a bill which allows telemedicine companies to offer services. Certain changes were incorporated which allows the limited use of telemedicine. The bill was passed on these grounds. It can be clearly said that different viewpoints towards the potential use of telemedicine in healthcare is a case of uncertainty for the medical companies in manufacturing their products and this will result in the decline of the market.
However, in other regions where telemedicine is an integral part of the healthcare industry, rapid technological advances are booming the market growth. In a bid to reduce the average healthcare ER costs for patients, telemedicine has created a medium where retail medical clinics are coming in to the picture. A patient can get the same treatment in the clinic from a virtual physician at reduced costs. This dynamic shift has been considered a threat by the traditional healthcare industry.
Organizations such as WorldClinic, Whole Foods, Walgreens and CVS have gotten into the act of retail medical clinics by posting their prices on the web.Fortune 500 companies and other large employers are also opening up on-site clinics in an effort to reduce healthcare costs and provide added benefits to employees.
Global market leaders are also constantly innovating on their product categories. Recently, AMD Global Telemedicine announced the release of cameras and scope systems for the purpose of telemedicine. CloudVisit Telemedicine launched their mobile app, an on-the-go telemedicine solution.
Things are looking bright for the Telemedicine industry and will look even brighter if the reimbursement policy is uniform throughout.