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The Telehealth Market's Vitality is Unquestioned Through 2020

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The Telehealth Market's Vitality is Unquestioned Through 2020

July 06, 2015
By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer

If one were to stick a thermometer into the telehealth market, it might come out somewhere around 99 degrees. It's not unhealthy by any stretch; to the contrary, it's a hot market that's generating some huge results. A new report from MarketsandMarkets suggests that the telehealth market will be putting up some very big numbers in the short term, and will be a clearly healthy and active market for some time to come.

The MarketsandMarkets report provides one major figure as its centerpiece; it projects that the telehealth market will start around $2.2 billion in 2015, and grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.2 percent until it reaches its conclusion of $6.5 billion by 2020. That's nearly three times the level of 2015, and in just five years.

That's a lot of growth, but where will it come from? The biggest driver, according to the report, is the rapidly-aging population across the entire planet, which will drive demand to impressive levels. But supply will also play a substantial role in the process; a shortage of physicians overall and an irregular distribution worldwide, the rise of telecommunications systems and improved infrastructure, increasing healthcare costs in general, and a growing awareness of the benefits involved in using telehealth systems all contribute toward major rises.

Geographically, the biggest share of this growing market will be in North America, followed up in short order by fellow traditional powerhouses Europe and the Asia-Pacific market. Not surprisingly, the fastest growth will be seen in the Asia-Pacific market, backed up by the increasing healthcare industry in India, a growth in healthcare funding and chronic diseases in Australia, and an increasing number of healthcare information technology (HCIT) programs in all.

However, there will be some challenges to face in the overall market. A variety of concerns worldwide, ranging from privacy issues to security and overall legality, will drag on the market as a whole, and the United States will reportedly have issues stemming from limits in reimbursement for physicians.

Image via Shutterstock

Even a casual observer will likely note that the healthcare market of even just the last five years has been one that's rife with change, from technology to politics and beyond. We've got new laws on health insurance, on doctor reimbursement, and a host of other points; throw in a wide array of changes on the technological front, especially the use of video conferencing tools, and it's easy to see where a market could experience huge changes in its bottom line. Telehealth is a great example of this; already we've seen how psychologists are able to ply the trade to individuals in remote areas with the help of Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) and the like. That's hardly the only example, either, and when there are this many examples lined up in one place, the full impact of all that change can be readily felt.

Thus the MarketsandMarkets report comes as something of a surprise, but only for its sheer scope; we likely knew this was a market ready for some major changes, but that big a hike in revenue that quickly might have caught some off guard. 

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