Deloitte Report Predicts Boom in E-Visits Worldwide This Year

August 13, 2014 in News

Telehealth services are rapidly increasing in part because of advances in technology and pressure to reduce costs, according to a recent report from Deloitte, Computerworld reports.

Report Findings

According to the report, about 100 million electronic provider visits will occur throughout the world in 2014, a 400% growth over 2012 levels. The report estimates that those telehealth visits could save more than $5 billion compared with the cost of in-person visit costs (Mearian, Computerworld, 8/8).

Further, the report estimated that the total available market for e-Visits in developed countries is between $50 billion and $60 billion (Deloitte report, 2014).

It predicted that the U.S. and Canada will have the greatest usage of e-Visits by the end of 2014, with 75 million of this year’s 600 million physician visits involving e-Visits.

According to the report, the majority of e-Visits will involve electronically capturing patient data, as opposed to direct patient-physician interaction via video conference.

For example, the report noted that “patients with symptoms of certain illnesses such as sinusitis, strep throat, allergies, bladder infection or acne would complete an online form and then receive a diagnosis and, if required, a prescription” (Computerworld, 8/8). Meanwhile, patients with more complicated conditions likely will still need to meet with a physician in person (Hall, FierceHealthIT, 8/12).

Reasons for Increase in E-Visits

The report identifies several factors that have attributed to the increase in e-Visit use, including:

  • Faster Internet speeds;
  • Increased familiarity with the technology among older patients;
  • More universal computer use; and
  • Widespread adoption of mobile devices.

In addition, the report explains that markets are now primed for more growth in e-Visits, as health care best practices throughout the world aim to decreases costs (Deloitte report, 2014).

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