US Healthcare costs are increasing at 5.4% year over year and are estimated to reach $5.5 Trillion by 2026. The US Healthcare industry is huge, and policymakers have been concerned by its growth relative to total GDP. The criticism is sometimes characterized by the idea that the US Healthcare system is a sick-care system and that boundaries must be broadened to effect positive change on the national Healthcare. Wellness and social determinants of health are important items for discussion within the healthcare industry. In this report, we have expanded beyond the traditional market boundaries of the Healthcare industry and consider segments like wellness and elements of the social determinants of health such as housing for the elderly. This represents an interesting opportunity for Telecom operators with a strong residential franchise presence.
The Healthcare Industry has been modernizing its infrastructure intending to control costs and improve the quality of care. Telehealth is one such mechanism that has been gaining adoption. Telehealth played a critical role in virtualizing care during the COVID pandemic. Telehealth has been growing at a yearly rate of ~15% with 2020 seeing a 175x increase in Telehealth adoption mainly due to COVID-19. This Telehealth infusion is driven by the increased patient and provider adoption, better reimbursements, and relaxed regulations. Although adoption may slow after COVID, Telehealth benefits are recognized and are here to stay. Telehealth is not just video communications, but it also touches on different technological solutions that Telecom operators have mastered and been deploying. Healthcare has lagged most industries regarding the virtualization of services. Consider how retail, finance, and entertainment industries have been transformed by digital technology over the last decade. The potential disruption to healthcare is inevitable. The Telecom Industry not only brings technology but also leadership in building standards-based platforms that can deliver critical cost reductions required to assist the Healthcare industry.
In this report, we analyze different services which are driving Healthcare costs that can be addressed by Telehealth initiatives. These services include Perpetual Wellness, Aging in Place (AIP), Communication-Enabled Medical Encounters (CEME), Virtual Pharmacy, Hospital at Home, and Remote Specialty Services. A very conservative analysis in these six segments shows, as shown in the figure, that a Telecom operator in the US can recognize ~$27 billion per year.