Telehealth technology will be used by an estimated 1.8 million patients worldwide by 2017, according to a report released Sunday by market research firm InMedica, Computerworld reports (Mearian, Computerworld, 1/22).
InMedica estimated that in 2012, 308,000 patients were monitored via telehealth technology for:
- Congestive heart failure;
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
- Hypertension; and
- Mental health conditions (Hall, FierceHealthIT, 1/22).
The report found that currently:
- Congestive heart failure accounts for the largest group of telehealth patients; and
- COPD accounts for the second largest group of telehealth patients.
InMedica predicted that diabetes will overtake COPD as the second-largest group of telehealth patients in 2017 once personal glucose monitors are integrated with telehealth systems (Computerworld, 1/22).
Drivers of Telehealth Growth
In the report, InMedica stated that the factors expected to drive the growth in telehealth use are:
- Federal policies that penalize hospitals based on readmission rates;
- Health care providers who want to increase ties with patients and improve care quality;
- Insurers that want to increase their competitiveness and reduce inpatient payouts by working directly with telehealth providers to monitor patients (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 1/22); and
- Patients who demand telehealth technology for a wider variety of conditions (FierceHealthIT, 1/22).