Thursday, January 7, 2010

Telehealth market to mature in 2012

Telehealth solutions will start to be used by healthcare providers on a much wider scale from 2012 onwards, according to a recent report by research company InMedica, which specializes in the medical devices industry.

The report forecasts that the number of gateways used in telehealth applications will increase to over one million in 2014 and to around 3.6 million in 2018.

The report authors believe that initiatives taken by governments and private healthcare providers to increase reimbursements and reduce the legal and liability issues will help in the roll out of telehealth as a mainstream technology for remote disease and home health monitoring.

According to InMedica, in 2009, health hubs were the most widely used telehealth gateways, constituting about 80% of the total gateways market. In the short to medium term, health hubs are expected to remain the most practical solution for professional healthcare providers, as the infrastructure can then be standardized and simplified on a large scale.

The report notes that the number of integrated cellular handsets used as telehealth gateways is expected to reach over 350 thousand in 2014.

“The use of mobile phones as telehealth gateways has had a surge of interest over the last couple of years; with patients and device companies recognizing the benefits of data transmission on the move," writes Neha Khandelwal, market research analyst at InMedica. "We anticipate that cellular service providers will play an increasingly important role in the long-term future of the telehealth market.”

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