Lives have changed in the past year and a half. We all have seen work from home, touchless delivery of goods and services, rescheduled or canceled vacations, etc. These changes seem minor against the changes that the healthcare sector has gone through.
Healthcare services collapsed across the world due to Covid 19 and our historical underfunding and lack of resources were exposed too. The government took the decision in March 2020 and published telemedicine guidelines making teleconsultations possible. It helped maintain social distancing during the pandemic reducing the risk for contagion for everyone involved.
The public views about telemedicine or primarily teleconsultations have changed and appetite increased since we were forced to use or this was the only option to access healthcare during the Pandemic. According to Global Telemedicine Market Analysis published by Market Data Forecast in 2019, the global telemedicine market is projected to rise to $80.61 billion by 2024 from $35.46 billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 17.85%. The time for virtual care has arrived with telemedicine leading the change.
A significant portion of the population is underserved in health care because of the skewed ratio of doctors. According to a report by Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, India has a doctor-to-patient ratio of 1:10,189, as against 1:1,000 recommended by WHO. These are all contributing factors in our efforts to find more efficient, effective, accessible and affordable healthcare solutions. Healthcare facilities with a patient-centered approach to care need an effective strategy to communicate with their patients. Therefore, they have begun to lever healthcare platforms to reach more patients, triage them quickly and improve care coordination.
The public and private push across healthcare to make healthcare platforms available to doctors and the patients will surely lead to a shift in this direction making more and more use of technology. The individual’s mindset and a view that teleconsultation can be used effectively for various care situations are also being understood. According to a few reports, 1 out of 35 consultations will happen online by 2024.
At icareheal, we are working on a platform that will provide technology to clinic owners (online consultation) to connect with their patients virtually. They will be able to use the right mix of physical and online consultations to provide seamless and continuous care to their patients. The patients will be able to connect with their trusted doctors from the place where they are. The success of teleconsultations will lead to a move towards a more holistic telemedicine paradigm.