Sometimes It’s hard to talk about all the good things that came from the pandemic considering how devastating it was, and still is in many major countries. But some businesses that would have taken more time to gain mass recognition and product utilization have blown up to beat their own expectations by exponential margins. A great example of such is the telehealth business in healthcare, a fast booming industry fueled by the need to socially distance ourselves from each other.
Many health-associated institutions are doing their best to limit exposure to infections and spread due to physical contact especially since the advent of the pandemic. It has become very important to protect workers from patients and vice versa, and because of that the idea of getting patients the care they need without being in contact, had to come up.
Restaurants were adjusting to provide their services strictly as delivery, and other companies were letting their workers operate from home, but the hospital could be a little different since emergencies cannot be handled with anyone on ground. However, many medical cases can still be looked into through simple consultation.
Healthcare facilities, both public and private are now employing video calls and chats as a means for patients to speak with doctors, using artificial intelligence to interpret large data and give possible diagnostic information, and getting drugs delivered without physical contact.
In fact, according to the statistics, there’s been about a 50% increase in the number of people making use of telehealth services now compared to the number before the pandemic, and right now there are still ongoing projections that almost a billion Americans would seek telehealth options for most medical issues in 2021.
Like most businesses, this one doesn’t come without competition of course, because many facilities, both public and private, have seen that there is a large target audience, and with the situation of things right now, there’s actually a need for such services to be available, and they are stepping in to fill the space created by that need.
Public owned companies like Humana, One Medical, and Amwell already offer telehealth services to patients, and a lot of up and coming companies are doing great too in this regard and have also been vital in making room for more people to have access to virtual healthcare. Some of these private companies include MDLive, iCliniq, K Health, 98point6, Sense.ly, and Eden Health.
Another major upside to this rise in telehealth is how much other health related technologies will grow due to the practice. Improvements are sure to be seen in technology like Artificial Intelligence, the use of healthcare robots, and in general biotechnology to help the quality of medical diagnosis get better and make management of patients easier.
Telemedicine in itself has been an existing concept for over 40 years and it has been employed in some rural countryside communities as part of the efforts to give them better access to primary healthcare, professionals in mental health and also specialized medical assistance as the need may be.