The global telehealth market is slated to reach USD 266.8 billion 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 23.4% during the forecast period. One of the main drivers of this is the high prevalence of stark inequalities in rural healthcare, especially in developing and underdeveloped countries where majority of the population lives in villages. For example, the World Health Organization Health Report 2018 states that in 2015, 303,000 women died across the world due to poor pre and post- natal healthcare.
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More importantly, 99% of these deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries; 64% of those happened in Sub-Saharan Africa. This situation is a result of low levels of socio-economic development, owing to which governments in these countries are unable to bring modern healthcare facilities to the rural poor. This is where telehealth services can come to the fore and many governments today are utilizing them to improve health of their citizens.
Tangible Benefits of Telemedicine to Boost the Market
Telehealth refers to a healthcare delivery system that is not limited by distance between the doctor and patient. The expansion of the telehealth market size is premised on the host of advantages that telehealth market services offer and growing awareness of these benefits. They are very visible benefits and has already led to positive outcomes. For example, according to a study published in Medicine Journal of Australia, effective telemedicine provision has reduced hospital readmission by 24% and has brought down mortality by 20%.
Moreover, telemedicine care helped patients save close to 19% of what they would have spent on inpatient care. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US states that telehealth has noticeably positive impact on the mental and physical health of patients. For example, the NIH estimates that emergence of telehealth services has led to around 38% reduction in hospital admissions. Lastly, telehealth can help governments in underdeveloped countries to provide quality healthcare to the rural population in these regions.
Strategic Collaborations to Make Competition Dynamic
Key players are entering into partnerships to strengthen their position in the market and diversify their product portfolio. For example, in October 2019, Doctor on Demand announced that they were joining hands with Walmart to provide quality and low-cost virtual primary care to Walmart associates based in different US states. Similarly, Comcast partnered with Independent Health Group in April 2018 to develop a unique communication and patient care platform.