Impact of Advanced Technologies and the Pandemic on the Telehealth Industry

Published on September 20, 2021 by Neha Singh

The manufacturing industry entered a new paradigm with the adoption of Industry 4.0. The healthcare industry is similarly on the verge of venturing into a world of smart and connected healthcare that would revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered across the globe.

Rapid technological advancement and the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated growth of all aspects of the healthcare industry, including patients, providers and investors. But where is this heading? Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), robotics and virtual reality (VR) are integrating with healthcare services to help providers in areas such as working more efficiently, keeping patients connected using wearables and other tools for remote patient monitoring, using robotics to introduce specialty care and assisting surgeons during operations. Apart from helping healthcare providers, these technologies improve the quality of life of larger populations and reduce healthcare expenditure.

Telehealth will only advance, further accelerating its influence in the healthcare industry.

AI in telehealth

The use of AI in telehealth is enabling clinicians to make real-time, rich, data-driven decisions, a major factor in enhancing the patient journey and creating better health outcomes.

AI is being used or can be used in several areas of telehealth:

IoT in telehealth

Telehealth combined with IoT is enabling healthcare providers to offer excellent healthcare through real-time diagnosis and treatment. IoT applications connect smart devices, machines, patients, doctors and sensors to the internet in an efficient and smart manner, facilitating remote monitoring, chronic disease management and elderly care of remote patients and even caring for institutionalised patients by remaining connected to the internet.

Pandemic impact on adoption of telehealth

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all entities in the healthcare industry to promote the use of digital technologies. Telehealth has provided a way to care, and now offers a chance to reinvent virtual and partially virtual care models, to provide improved access to healthcare.

The pandemic has demonstrated the significance of telehealth, paving the way to modernise the healthcare delivery system with the acceptance of all stakeholders in the healthcare industry.

Apart from wide acceptance among consumers and healthcare providers, growth in telehealth is also evident from the significant investment in the space over the past year, driven by the pandemic.

Telehealth has come a long way since the outbreak of the pandemic, from increased utilisation of telehealth services and stabilisation by 2021, improved perceptions of consumers and health providers compared to before the pandemic, regulatory changes facilitating the use of telehealth and significant investment in digital health to evolving tech solutions and business models. We expect growth to stabilise, although the market still has a long way to go.

Conclusion

The fundamental factors applicable to any sector — new solutions to problems, technological advancement, changing market sentiment and consumer preferences, and strong investment flow — would drive growth of telehealth as well.

Telehealth has a much broader use, beyond video chats — to support complex care for patients both in hospital and at home.

Data-driven connected devices and care solutions can give providers access to patient insights anytime, anywhere, helping them determine the most appropriate course of action for care delivery.

The use of AI- and IoT-powered remote patient monitoring systems amid the current crisis will likely serve as a precedent for healthcare facilities across the globe, paving the way for the standardisation of diagnostic assistance and remote patient care and improving patient outcomes.

Moving beyond the pandemic, these solutions will likely continue to enable faster, quality care while keeping patients in the comfort of their homes, other safe spaces or at hospitals.

For this to succeed, however, all participants in the healthcare sector, including providers, payers and patients, must work to integrate this advanced version of telehealth into the existing environment to upgrade delivery of healthcare. We expect more technological advancement, more new products and services and increased adoption of telehealth in the near future.

How Acuity Knowledge Partners can help:

Leveraging nearly two decades of experience in analysing historical information and predicting trends, we help our clients, including life sciences and healthcare firms, build and strengthen their strategies and business.

We also provide services such as therapy area landscapes, opportunity prioritisation, lifecycle management and go-to-market and market assessment.

For more information on our capabilities, please visit our Life sciences solutions page.

Originally published at https://www.acuitykp.com.

About the Author

Neha Singh, Senior Associate, has over 7 years of experience in the research and consulting industry. She currently works in the Strategy Research and Consulting practice at Acuity Knowledge Partners and supports consulting and corporate clients in their research & strategy assignments. She is experienced in customized research related to market & competitive intelligence, market assessment, benchmarking, competitive landscape, market entry & growth strategy, partner identification in addition to others. She has exposure and knowledge of proprietary databases such as Capital IQ, Preqin, Thomson, Orbis and Merger Market.

Prior to Acuity Knowledge Partners, she was working with a Management Consulting firm, where she worked closely with clients across geographies in Retail & CPG sector and supported corporate strategy and growth initiatives.

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We write about financial industry trends, the impact of regulatory changes and opinions on industry inflection points. https://www.acuitykp.com/