1.8 Million Patients Will Use Telehealth Tools by 2017, Report Says

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).

Key Findings

InMedica estimated that in 2012, 308,000 patients were monitored via telehealth technology for:

  • Congestive heart failure;
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
  • Diabetes;
  • 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).

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