Telemedicine’s Move into the Mainstream

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Publication Date:
June 2020
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COVID-19 accelerated uptake of telemedicine is rapidly transforming healthcare delivery

Telemedicine is one major success story of the pandemic. Barriers previously hindering widespread adoption of telehealth practices were quickly set aside in the fight against COVID-19, enabling patients to communicate with healthcare professionals remotely and at the same time, reduce impact on the medical frontline. Having clearly demonstrated its advantages, the questions now being asked across the healthcare sector include how telemedicine delivery can be maintained and built on post-pandemic, and what further steps need to be taken to ensure barriers don't reappear.

We interviewed 5 leading experts at the forefront of the current telemedicine revolution to find out what the key issues are, what lessons have been learned, and which models and technologies can be used to further secure telemedicine's place in mainstream healthcare.

  • What's changed? What barriers to telemedicine existed pre-COVID-19 and why? Understand all the actions and changes which have cleared the way for rapid implementation and widespread success, particularly in the US.
  • What lessons have been learned? Delve into the key actions that finally turned telemedicine sceptics into converts. What infrastructure changes or developments have occurred? How have barriers such as reimbursement, licencing and data privacy been overcome?
  • Where are the biggest opportunities? Find out what type of healthcare provision, conditions, settings and patient groups are most likely to fit best with telemedicine.
  • Who is leading the way? Which telehealth companies have made most progress and why? Discover which models are working best in what settings as well as the start-ups and innovations that should be on your watch list.
  • What will the future look like? Explore the factors which will influence the future utilisation of telemedicine. How can telemedicine be monetised effectively? What other innovative approaches are on the horizon?

What to expect from this report

Although adoption of telemedicine has been steadily increasing for the last few years – the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically upped the pace of change overnight. This report offers a comprehensive expert analysis of the pre-pandemic state of telemedicine, the numerous key developments driving telemedicine adoption during the pandemic, as well as the challenges, technologies and players most likely to determine how telemedicine will evolve in a post-pandemic world.

Read Telemedicine's Move into the Mainstream to gain the very latest expert views on how this fast-moving channel is transforming healthcare.

How did we do it?

  • We identified the 5 core issues currently impacting telemedicine growth in the US
  • We explored these via an average of 25 targeted questions put to 5 leading experts
  • Their responses provided 24 new and up-to-date insights
  • Insights are supported by 77 directly quoted comments plus an additional 72 sources
  • 9 factors influencing future utilisation of telemedicine were identified

Example insight included in Telemedicine's Move into the Mainstream

Revoke state licences: Some experts argue that state-by-state licensure is an obsolete regulation and is one of the major barriers to the wider adoption of telehealth. Since the coronavirus outbreak, a number of states have modified their rules to make it easier for providers to practice across state lines during the pandemic, including allowing out-of-state licensed practitioners to practice without in-state licensure, or providing a streamlined process for out-of-state licensed practitioners to attain in-state licensure.63 It is hoped that this will continue moving forward.

Example quote included in Telemedicine's Move into the Mainstream

"Telemedicine is not simply going to be for disasters and pandemics; it will be a major component of the delivery system for chronic disease management and will be able to distinguish between a patient that needs to come to the hospital versus being able to be monitored at home." Jay H. Sanders, M.D., The Global Telemedicine Group

The expert panel for Telemedicine's Move into the Mainstream

  • Andrew Burns, Chief Growth Officer, DrFirst, US. In his role as Chief Growth Officer, Andrew is charged with the strategic and commercial growth of DrFirst's digital solutions. Prior to joining DrFirst, Andrew held C-level positions at some of the industry's most successful companies, including Epocrates, Sermo, and Gobiquity Mobile Health. He holds an MBA from the University of Arizona: Eller College of Management, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from University of Western Ontario in Canada.
  • Jay H. Sanders, M.D., FACP, FACAAI, FATA, CEO, The Global Telemedicine Group, Professor of Medicine (Adjunct), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Founder and President Emeritus, American Telemedicine Association. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School, directed the US telemedicine initiatives to the G8 nations during the Clinton administration, and is a founding member of the American Telemedicine Association. He is also the author of numerous articles and a book, Telemedicine: Theory and Practice, and served on several editorial boards including The Telemedicine Connection and Telemedicine and Virtual Reality.
  • Linda Fischer, Sr. VP, Product Strategy DrFirst, US. She joined DrFirst after having served 21 years as a VP and CIO for Huntington Hospital where she played a key role in the implementation of an electronic medical records system and successful attestations through CMS's Meaningful Use Stage 2. Ms Fischer is a long-time member of HIMSS, CHIME and GNYHA, and is a founding member of the CHIME Opioid Task Force and DrFirst Opioid Task Force. In 2009, she received the CPEHR Certification from CCHIT as well as a "Friend of Nursing" MAGNET award. Ms Fischer served on the original Board of Directors in the creation and implementation of the Long Island HIE, known now as HealthEx.
  • Shourjya Sanyal, CEO, Think Biosolution, Ireland. He is a Forbes correspondent in AI and Healthcare, a TEDx speaker, a regional Partner of Faster Capital, and Lecturer in Data Science in Digital Skills Global (affiliated to Boston College). Shourjya is also part of the Roster of Experts, Digital Health Technical Advisory Board, World Health Organization (2019) and Standard Committee Member for Remote Patient Monitoring Standard, CHQI. Shourjya has a PhD in theoretical physics and is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for developing and commercializing cutting-edge technology. He co-founded Digital Self Technology Pvt. Ltd., Ireland in 2013-2014, incubated by NDRC, where he implemented image recognition technology for tracking brands and people on the internet.
  • US payer, leading healthcare provider, NY, US

Why this report is important

Experts estimate that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought telemedicine development forwards by 2-5 years in the US alone - that's a monumental shift which has occurred in the space of just a few months. Not just a short-term fix to alleviate pandemic problems, telemedicine has proved itself to be a viable solution for dealing with capacity issues, patient wait times and access. It's also cost-effective and offers countless opportunities and benefits for clinicians, payers, healthcare providers and patients. Telemedicine has never been more relevant. Use this report to get your plans and strategies aligned with the new normal in healthcare.

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