According to new data released by research firm InMedica, the American telehealth market is predicted to grow by 600 percent between 2012 and 2017. While there are currently 227,000 US telehealth patients, according to InMedica, that figure is forecast to reach up to 1.3 million patients in 2017. US telehealth revenues, meanwhile, will jump from $174.5 million last year to $707.9 million in 2017.
The firm reported that the United States leads telehealth growth worldwide, and has 75 percent of the world's telehealth patients. The next biggest countries in telehealth are the United Kingdom, China, and Germany. InMedica released a report last month that said there are about 308,000 telehealth patients worldwide, with an expected 1.8 million patients expected globally by the year 2017.
The urgency of curbing healthcare costs partly explains why the US is on the leading edge of the trend, InMedica suggested.
"The cost of healthcare is a critical issue in the United States, with nearly one of every five dollars’ worth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) going to medical expenditures," Theo Ahadome, senior analyst at InMedica, said in a statement. "Telehealth can help mitigate these costs by reducing the number of patient readmissions and cutting down on in-home care visits. Because of this, the United States is the world’s largest market for telehealth, driving the growth of the worldwide business."
When MobiHealthNews wrote about the previous InMedica report, we pointed out a seeming discrepancy with Berg Insight's claim that 2.8 million patients worldwide were using remote monitoring. Lars Kurkinen from Berg explained that telehealth is a subcategory of remote monitoring.
"The difference between our and Inmedica's numbers is explained by the fact that InMedica's study only covers the telehealth device segment. Telehealth is one of the device categories that we include in the 2.8 million patients figure, and our findings regarding that segment are very much in line with InMedica's," Kurkinen said in an email.
InMedica defines telehealth as "the use of medical devices and communication technology to monitor chronic diseases and symptoms that could develop into serious conditions."