세계 원격의료(텔레헬스 : Telehealth) 시장의 최신 동향과 전망에 대해 분석했으며, 특히 최근 신종 코로나바이러스 감염증(Covid-19)의 감염 확대에 수반하는 다양한 영향과 이에 따라 발생하는 향후 성장 기회 및 제약 요인, 분야별 성장 전망(가상 방문, 원격 환자 모니터링(RPM) 디바이스, 모바일 헬스, 웨어러블 기기 등), 업계 관계자가 향후 해결해야 할 과제 등의 정보를 정리하여 전해드립니다.
Social Distancing Needs will Present Both Growth Opportunities and Challenges
The entire healthcare system is under attack by the novel COVID-19 virus that has no proven treatment. Hospitals are being stretched beyond their capacity, healthcare workers are falling ill, and critically ill patients are not guaranteed that the life-saving equipment they must have will be available. Improved screening and guidance to a growing number of patients will be necessary. Telehealth providers, enablers, and suppliers represent a tangible resource that can remove certain patients from the hospital setting by evaluating them remotely, tracking their progress, and helping all stakeholders remain in contact as the intensive efforts for a vaccine and effective treatment are underway.
The critical need for social distancing among physicians and patients will drive unprecedented demand for telehealth, which involves the use of communications systems and networks to enable either a synchronous or asynchronous session between the patient and provider. This report focuses on telehealth services that are gaining momentum among providers and other healthcare stakeholders who are seeking to manage the overwhelming need for COVID-19-related assessments and pathways. Telehealth is not appropriate for all COVID-19 patients, but there is a sizable number who could be examined, treated, and followed up using a mix of virtual visits, remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices, and mobile health services, apps, and wearable devices.
This report reviews the significant drivers that are propelling telehealth. For example, the need to divert a defined patient population away from provider offices and the ER will require the removal of regulatory constraints that would otherwise deny telehealth for some COVID-19 patients. Although it appears that this need is being addressed by the US government, there are concerns among many industry insiders that the various state-level coverage and reimbursement issues, licensure issues, and other factors could still be a challenge.
Also driving telehealth today is the ability to perform accurate remote exams on highly contagious patient populations. The telehealth market had been expected to grow at a good pace prior to the pandemic, but the current crisis will provide a significant opportunity to make this technology available to a far greater number of users. However, many challenges will need to be addressed for telehealth to achieve its enormous potential.
The most important concerns the ability of virtual visit providers to meet the anticipated huge demand. There are early reports of extremely long wait times that some virtual visit patients have endured. Also challenging, a sudden increase in RPM data that will be gathered and transmitted to already beleaguered providers. In addition, there are the usual concerns about security and privacy.
The technology can save the lives of patients, healthcare professionals, and hospital workers by decreasing the number of potential COVID-19 infections that they would directly encounter.
The study reviews the major segments that comprise telehealth. Although the term is now visible across all forms of media and social networking, few people are fully aware of the details behind the concept and the types of suppliers and providers that form the telehealth ecosystem. This study will present a selected view of notable companies and review the types of products and services that comprise virtual visits, RPM, virtual care, data gathering and transmission, networks, and messaging.