By Ritvik Chennupati, Ayarah Dharanikota
September 22, 2020
What is the Problem?
Telehealth has grown significantly over the past few months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. With companies continuously emerging, we decided to analyze which niche some of today’s companies are falling into (here in the US and around the globe). For our analysis, we observed the companies’ area of focus, business model, and technology.
- Companies are making use of the relaxed restrictions during the pandemic (licensing, reimbursement, etc.)
- Some companies are partnering with existing EMR and hospital systems to create unique platforms
- More and more partnerships are being formed with companies that are not directly within the medical space like Google or Walmart.
Telehealth is defined as using telecommunications technologies to support various healthcare services, such as long-distance healthcare, health education, public health admin, etc. The feature many of us are familiar with, is its ability to connect patients and physicians who live in different geographical regions most commonly called telemedicine. A convenience and care to the likes that have never been seen before. Though this initial concept was conceived in the 1960’s, only in the last decade has it started to gain ground and become an emerging industry that is projected to value nearly 130.5 billion dollars by 2025.1 With many advancements in Telecommunications technologies, telemedicine is becoming an increasingly important part of the American healthcare infrastructure as healthcare starts to move away from paper and in- person visits and towards virtual and convenient healthcare.
Telemedicine contains numerous benefits to the healthcare industry not only for the patients but for other stakeholders. First, telemedicine provides convenient and accessible care. Some of the biggest inhibitors to in-person patient care today are the distance and travel time between the patient and care provider.2 Telemedicine overcomes these boundaries and provides care to rural and other areas where clinical shortages exist. It also allows for a healthcare professionals to be just one call away, reducing the number of doctor visits, saving time, and preventing unnecessary costs.2 Cisco reported 74% of patients prefer this easy access over in-person interactions3 and a study by the American Hospital Association showed that telemedicine care saved 11% in cost and tripled investors ROI.4 Additionally, telemedicine has allowed for better care quality because timetables for medicine and prescriptions are more accurate. These timetables reduce stress and anxiety among patients as their health information is available to them at a moment’s notice with the use of apps and other technologies.
Over the last 2 decades, many existing healthcare systems and new companies have started to venture into the field of telehealth and telemedicine. Though similar in their expertise, navigating through the products and services offered by these companies can get very tricky as they vary so drastically from company to company. Throughout the rest of this report the tech, area of focus, and business model of 20 companies around the world will be examined and displayed.
Key Words: Healthcare, Telehealth