Eighty-nine percent of health care executives said they expect telemedicine to transform the U.S. health care system in the next decade, according to a new survey, InformationWeek reports.
The study -- conducted by research firm Penn Schoen Berland on behalf of Intel -- surveyed 75 C-level executives at hospitals, home health organizations and health insurance companies (Lewis, InformationWeek, 5/19).
The survey was presented Tuesday at the American Telemedicine Association's annual meeting (Burt, eWeek, 5/19).
According to the survey, about two-thirds of the respondents currently use telemedicine services, with an 87% satisfaction rate.
Of the respondents who do not use telemedicine services, half said they plan to implement the technology within the next year (InformationWeek, 5/19).
Respondents identified improved patient outcomes as the biggest perceived benefit of telemedicine. Other telemedicine benefits cited by the respondents include complete physician access to patient data and early identification of health problems (E-Health Europe, 5/20).
According to the survey, the biggest barrier to telemedicine adoption is the lack of a reimbursement model. Respondents also cited concerns that clinical staff and patients will find it difficult to use the technology.
Future of Telemedicine
Survey respondents said they expect federal legislation, such as the new health reform law, to help drive greater telemedicine use.
According to InformationWeek, the market for telemedicine and home health monitoring is expected to grow from $3 billion last year to $7.7 billion by 2012 (InformationWeek, 5/19).