Medical video consultations and visits will increase from 19.7 million annually in 2014 to 158.4 million per year by 2020, according to a new report from Tractica. The figure includes both doctor to doctor consultations as well as patient to doctor video visits.
The research firm predicts that although clinical consultations currently make up more than 75 percent of the market, growth over the next several years will be stronger in non-clinical settings and these non-clinical consultations will outnumber clinical consultations by 2019.
Tractica explains that clinical settings include hospitals and medical clinics and use cases of clinical telehealth video consultations include telestroke and teleICU, psychiatry, and specialized medicine like dermatology, radiology, obstetrics, cardiology, and oncology. Applications for non-clinical video consultations include routine care, urgent care, chronic condition management, follow-up care, and emergency response.
“The flexibility and efficiency of video conferencing is helping healthcare providers and payers to achieve tangible value in deploying video-based patient monitoring solutions, both in terms of positive patient outcomes and cost savings," Principal Analyst Charul Vyas said in a statement. "However, the market still faces a variety of challenges, including the high initial cost of deploying services, inconsistent reimbursement models for telehealth consultations, and some continuing resistance by physicians, patients, and regulatory bodies.”
So far this year, there has been an increasing amount of funding invested in medical video visits startups. These investments are likely driven in part by Teladoc’s recently disclosed IPO plans. The most recent funding was announced earlier today, MDLive raised $50 million.