An aging population, a prevalence of chronic diseases—especially among those 65 years and older—and the explosive growth in the use of mobile devices will contribute to an unprecedented growth in the area of telehealth over the next four years, a new report predicts.
IHS Technology, a research and analytics firm based in Englewood, Colo., released its report on the state of telehealth and predicts a tenfold growth by 2018.
According to a press release accompanying the report, the number of individuals benefitting from telehealth services is expected to rise from less than 350,000 in 2013 to around 7 million in 2018.
It also was noted that while worldwide revenue from telehealth services hit $440.6 million in 2013, it is expected to rise to over $4.5 billion in 2018.
"Amid rising expenses, an aging population and the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, the healthcare industry must change the way it operates," said Roeen Roashan, medical devices and digital health analyst at IHS Technology. "Telehealth represents an attractive solution to these challenges, increasing the quality of care while reducing overall healthcare expenditures."
Among the benefits derived from telehealth, the report says, are lower hospital readmissions and mortality rates; increases in patient engagement; and lower healthcare costs.