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How the COVID-19 Pandemic Advanced Telehealth Adoption

The global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across many industries. As an example, consider the healthcare sector. Some routine medical situations can be diagnosed and resolved online. While the trend was already in motion long before the pandemic arrived, the adoption of telehealth increased rapidly in 2020.

Around the world, many governments responded to the disruption and inaccessibility of healthcare facilities by loosening previous regulations and restrictions on the practice of telemedicine apps, and teleconsultations. This decision resulted in the mass adoption of these medical services among patients and providers.

According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, telemedicine will save the healthcare industry $21 billion in costs by 2025 -- that's rising from an estimated $11 billion in 2021. This increased app usage represents an anticipated growth rate of over 80 percent in the next four years.

Telehealth Services Market Development

The concept of telemedicine involves the remote provision of healthcare services and includes technologies such as remote medical practitioner consultations, remote patient monitoring and chatbots.

The new study findings identified teleconsultations -- an online service that enables patients and physicians to interact remotely -- as a key service that will enable these significant adjustments.

However, Juniper analysts have cautioned that savings would be restricted to developed nations where access to required devices and adequate Internet connectivity is prevalent. 

As a result, and perhaps unsurprisingly, Juniper has predicted that over 80 percent of the associated healthcare-related savings will be attributable to the North American and European markets by 2025.


The research study findings uncovered that over 280 million teleconsultations were likely performed in 2019. Moreover, this amount rose to 348 million in 2020, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Juniper assessment, they now anticipate that the activities of third-party healthcare service developers will be crucial in accelerating the deployment of emerging telemedicine services.

So, without a doubt, software developer innovation has the potential to greatly increase the usage of telehealth applications among more healthcare providers around the globe, on mobile phones.

However, Juniper analysts predicted that the significant investment into integrating telemedicine services, and the requirement of patient data protection -- such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) in the U.S. market -- could discourage adoption among smaller healthcare providers.

Outlook for Telehealth Applications Growth

To help encourage the additional use of telemedicine services, Juniper has recommended that healthcare regulatory bodies continue to deregulate telemedicine services to minimize any remaining barriers to entry for smaller healthcare providers -- particularly within the developing nations.

"Any deregulation must ensure that patient confidentiality is not undermined. Additionally, we recommend that innovative and emerging teleconsultation services are integrated into existing healthcare technologies, such as electronic health records, to maximize their benefits to healthcare providers," said Adam Wears, an analyst at Juniper Research.

That said, I'm optimistic. I believe that the market outlook is bright. Truly, by relocating healthcare delivery from primary care clinics and other healthcare facilities to online platforms, telehealth apps can reduce the common barriers that might prevent patients from promptly seeking medical attention.

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