Telemedicine Disruption: Investment Opportunities in the Fast-Growing Healthcare Industry

Although providing medical assistance through telecommunication is not new, it has recently gained significant acceptance. Telemedicine's popularity can be attributed to consumers' growing comfort with digital applications

3 min read
Telemedicine platforms utilize various communication tools like telephone, video, websites, and smartphone apps to provide health-related services. This approach overcomes geographical barriers and streamlines the entire process, reducing cost and time for healthcare consumers. Additionally, telehealth platforms enable healthcare providers to serve more patients, regardless of location.

Although providing medical assistance through telecommunication is not new, it has recently gained significant acceptance. Telemedicine's popularity can be attributed to consumers' growing comfort with digital applications and software in other industries and the software industry's ability to create a more user-friendly experience for digital service users.

The Future of Telemedicine

The healthcare industry quickly adapted to the social distancing measures implemented to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by utilizing telehealth services. These services became a crucial tool for hospitals, clinics, and doctors to provide quality care while reducing the spread of the virus. Key trends have emerged in telehealth technology that will continue to shape its future.

Telehealth services were initially created to help rural and underserved patients access specialists when local help was limited. However, telehealth has become more widespread across the industry since the pandemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), telehealth utilization increased by over 154% in late March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The market for telehealth services is predicted to grow to over USD 397 billion by 2027, up from USD 42 billion in 2019. Telehealth's strategic potential for the healthcare industry is becoming more apparent, and organizations worldwide plan to continue using this technology. Additionally, traditional healthcare providers are also investing in telemedicine, with 60% of organizations adding new digital initiatives and 75% investing in telemedicine to enhance the patient experience. Although telemedicine use has stabilized in the longer term, comprising about 5% of medical claims as of April 2023, it remains a top priority for healthcare providers.

Top 3 Positive Trends in the Healthcare Market

The healthcare industry is likely to witness the emergence of several new trends in the next few years as modern technology continues to penetrate all sectors of the industry. Some of these trends are

Artificial intelligence

The primary trend expected in this market is an increase in telehealth capabilities. The pandemic caused virtual healthcare visits to become widespread, and many individuals found this process quicker, more straightforward, and just as effective as receiving in-person care. In the future, we anticipate integrating AI features into telemedicine platforms, such as chatbots, tools for triage, robotic-assisted therapy for stroke patients, and software to help capture high-quality images and videos. Additionally, the industry anticipates that health insurance providers, including Medicare, will extend their coverage of telemedicine services with AI assistance due to the continued growth in demand for such services.

Big data

One of the leading trends predicted to emerge in the healthcare market is the adoption of cutting-edge technology for healthcare analytics, or big data, to streamline healthcare data management. Big data analytics is a critical aspect of this trend because it helps to ensure that vital health information is secure, transparent, and easily accessible, which is increasingly crucial as our daily lives become more digitalized.

Digital healthcare applications

The use of digital health applications is expected to fuel patient growth and generate value for investors by enabling physicians to offer their services to patients located in remote areas who may be unable to visit a hospital. These resources will provide healthcare professionals with the tools to monitor patients, offer assistance, and track their behaviours without requiring in-person meetings.

Opportunities for Investing in Healthcare

Undoubtedly, the Telemedicine sector has made significant progress with the growing technology integration. Advancements in healthcare technology have facilitated the management of large amounts of data across various healthcare institutions, while mobile apps have revolutionized the way doctors and patients interact. However, the potential of mobile apps, cloud-based services, and other digital assets in healthcare is yet to be fully realized. The industry is expected to undergo a more profound digital transformation offering exciting opportunities for investment in healthcare innovation and growth in the coming years. As we move towards a more digitally enabled healthcare system, the possibilities for growth and innovation are endless.

Disclaimer: This article should not be considered investment advice. Do your research or speak to an investment professional before making an investment decision.
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