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DoseSpot Forecast: 3 Segments Positioned for Telehealth Growth

Posted: October 6th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Controlled Substances, Digital Health, Telehealth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

It’s no surprise that technology should be considered a key player as we shift to value-based care. With smartphones, tablets and computers, health information is readily available for patients with a simple click of a button. Why should a consultation with a healthcare professional be any different?

Telehealth greatly increases the scope of the healthcare industry and is bound to open huge opportunities in increasing the quality of healthcare. The ultimate goal here, is to prevent hospital readmissions through better management of individuals with chronic conditions, while also reducing associated costs. By enabling remote patient monitoring and remote access to clinicians, market growth is inevitable as awareness and implementation of standards for reimbursement and adoptions of these care models expands.

While several reports claim that “technology gets in the way of the patient experience,” patients are in fact the ones demanding such access to care. This increase in patient demand for telehealth services has prompted many companies and healthcare organizations to think outside of the box and reevaluate the patient-centric model, while questioning what that care model really means to a patient.

Well, it’s simple. Patients want a customized, cost-effective and convenient healthcare experience to which telehealth can provide.

A recent report states that the global telehealth market was valued at $14.3 Billion in 2014 and is estimated to reach $36.3 Billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 14.30% from 2014 to 2020.

With these numbers in tow, we predict the most growth in three different segments:

Behavioral Health and Addiction

As mentioned in a previous post, telehealth has the ability to bridge the gaps in care of behavioral health patients and providers. Not only does it provide a convenient, more comfortable and less expensive medical consultation, but it broadens accessibility to patients whom may not have many options when seeking a behavioral health provider, especially in rural areas. Unfortunately, the lack of psychiatrists and addiction specialists across the nation, as well as the stigma often involved, are contributing to the mental health and addiction issues and creating barriers to appropriate care.

Patients will see their primary care physician and may not receive the exact treatment plan that they need; after all, primary care physicians do not specialize in behavioral health or addiction and often, these illnesses require a lot of time and patience to which the physician may not be able to accommodate. Telehealth will be able to connect patients in need with specialists regardless of their location who know how to treat these specific health issues.

This effective care model will not only lessen the hit on the nation’s bottom line as more and more individuals grapple with suicide, addiction, and other mental health issues, but also revolutionize the way people view the stigma involved and encourage patients to seek help as they are able to receive treatment from the comfort of their own home.

Geriatric Care

Geriatric patients stand to benefit tremendously as a digital health consumer. As mobility can be especially difficult for these patients, the ability to see a physician remotely removes one of the largest barriers to care. Furthermore, transporting patients of this age may potentially do more harm than good.

With telemedicine, providers can more quickly spot at-risk patients and provide interventions to avoid an otherwise unnecessary hospital admission. Similarly, nursing homes can partner with health systems to provide bedside care for their residents at a fraction of the price of an onsite physician.

These infrastructure synergies provide connectivity with electronic health records (EHRs) and create clear communication among hospitals, senior care facilities, referring physicians and patient families. They also provide the link to population based management databases and other health care analytic functions to measure value.


Many surgical departments find telehealth to be a more convenient and cost-effective way for pre- and post- operative instructions for procedures of all magnitudes including wisdom teeth extraction, colonoscopies, stent placement and more.

With in-person visits and paper instructions, patients may misinterpret or even forget important information relative to their surgery. This includes what medications to stop taking and how to physically prepare for surgery, while providing a clear, direct line of answers for any questions a patient may have. With instructions digitally delivered prior to surgery, telehealth reduces patient no shows and saves valuable scheduled operating room time.

For post-op patients, providers can check the patient visually, ensuring that patients are following their treatment plans and making adjustments as needed. Through this continuous connection, providers are empowered to deliver the guidance that many patients need as they go through the healing process. These virtual check-ins ensure the patient is on the road to recovery, thus reducing readmission rates all without the patient ever having to leave their home.

Furthermore, telehealth can improve treatment and medication compliance, specifically with controlled substances, i.e. pain medication. Opioid addiction often begins at the hands of a prescriber and with the nation currently facing an opioid epidemic, marrying technology and follow-up appointments when prescribing these types of medications serves as the optimal solution for the safety of all involved.

Technology should no longer be viewed as a barrier to care, but rather embraced in order to improve the healthcare industry, including the improvement of interoperability as well as patient outcomes. Telehealth not only meets the ever increasing demands of patients, but it also assists in preventative care by creating greater access to such care, thus reducing down-the-road costs and burdensome associated with chronic disease. With many chronic diseases being completely preventable, the prevent vs. treat mantra should be sound in every healthcare professional’s mind, while realizing that telehealth is a seamless way of delivering healthcare for all involved.

There may currently be barriers in place regarding reimbursement from payers, but that’s sure to change as more and more payers jump on board for this new delivery model. After all, who’s to say telehealth won’t become the norm and be known as simply….health?

Sources: American Well; OpenPR; mHealth Intelligence; Healthcare IT News

About DoseSpot

DoseSpot is a Surescripts certified e-Prescribing platform specifically designed to integrate with electronic health record, electronic dental record, practice management and telehealth software. DoseSpot is certified to e-Prescribe controlled substances and has provided simple, affordable and integratable e-Prescribing solutions to healthcare IT companies since 2009. For more information, please visit www.DoseSpot.com.