Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Telehealth will disrupt North American healthcare sector: Frost & Sullivan

Iain Morris
October 22, 2014
The telehealth industry is on the verge of a dramatic growth surge that will disrupt the healthcare sector in North America, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan.

Rising demand coupled with the lack of easy access to health professionals will be a major catalyst for the development of telehealth services, says the market-research company.

In a new report, Frost & Sullivan says that an ageing population will need to find new ways of managing and monitoring chronic diseases, which will spur growth in the use of technology such as remote patient monitoring and remote telehealth.

Videoconferencing, in particular, looks set to emerge as a suitable avenue for primary and specialty healthcare service delivery.

“The momentum for telehealth is building rapidly as the practice of providing remote clinical services becomes entrenched in every aspect of healthcare in North America,” said Nancy Fabozzi, a connected health principal analyst with Frost & Sullivan. “Technological advancements that deliver rich, connected platforms with high visual and audio quality add to the business case for telehealth.”

Even so, despite the potential of technology to transform healthcare, numerous barriers to adoption still exist.

Those include lingering concern about patient privacy and safety as well as insufficient public and private reimbursement policies.

Users will also have to face complex state provider licensing and regulatory issues.

Given all that, Frost & Sullivan predicts that telemedicine use will gather pace only when leading industry stakeholders establish new guidelines and break down regulatory and reimbursement roadblocks.

“As the scope of telehealth expands, a number of technology and services vendors will make their entry into the market,” said Fabozzi. “Disease-specific vendors, in particular, will seek to capitalize on specialist shortages in critical areas such as mental health and neurology.”

Personal health tracking – through wearables and consumer mobile health apps – will also make inroads into the market, says Frost & Sullivan, fuelling the mobile health segment and widening market reach.
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