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36 Telemedicine Statistics You Should Know

Posted by Teresa Iafolla, Aug 20, 2015

Telemedicine is changing the way we experience healthcare. There’s no doubt about it. Patients are becoming more and more open to the idea every day, especially when they realize telemedicine means more convenient, accessible healthcare. Healthcare providers too are starting to see the benefits: better care outcomes, less hospital readmissions, happier patients, and more profitable practices. As a result, telemedicine is on the rise.

But don’t just take our word for it! We did an extensive survey of the current data and research on telemedicine to back up these claims. Check out the 36 stats below for all the details on current trends and findings in the telemedicine field.

The Growth of Telemedicine

  1. More than half of all U.S. hospitals currently have a telemedicine program.1
  2. The global telemedicine technologies market, including hardware, software, and services, was valued at $17.8 billion in 2014 and is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.4% from 2014 to 2020.2
  3. There will be about 800,000 online consultations in the U.S. in 2015.3
  4. About 90% of surveyed healthcare executives report that their organizations have already begun developing or implementing a telemedicine program.4
  5. About 84% of surveyed healthcare executives felt that the development of telemedicine services is either very important (52%) or important (32%) to their organizations.4
  6. About 22% of employers with 1,000 or more employees currently offer telemedicine services, and another 37% of employers plan to offer telemedicine services to their employees by the end of this year.5
  7. The three states with the highest telemedicine adoption rates are Alaska (75%), Arkansas (71%), and South Dakota (70%).6
  8. Telemedicine makes up nearly one-fourth of the health IT market, which was valued at $15.6 billion in 2014 and is expected to increase to nearly $20 billion by 2019 with a compound annual growth rate of 4.8%.7
  9. As of August 2015, Congress has 26 bills pending that could affect telemedicine across the country.1
  10. The number of patients using telemedicine services will increase to 7 million in 2018, up from less than 350,000 in 2013.8
  11. Already, 29 states require health insurers to pay for telemedicine services (as of August 2015).1

How Patients Feel About Telemedicine

  1. About 74% of patients in the U.S. would use telehealth services.9
  2. Most patients are comfortable with having all of their health records securely available on the cloud.10
  3. About 74% of patients are comfortable with communicating with their doctors using technology instead of seeing them in person.10
  4. About 76% of patients care more about access to healthcare than need for human interactions with their healthcare providers.11
  5. Only 16% of patients would prefer to go to the emergency room for a minor ailment if they also could access telemedicine services.12
  6. About 67% of patients said that using telemedicine somewhat or significantly increases their satisfaction with medical care.12
  7. About 30% of patients already use computers or mobile devices to check their medical or diagnostic information.11

Telemedicine In Action

  1. After telemedicine services were employed by the Veterans Health Administration post-cardiac arrest care program, hospital readmissions decreased by 51% for heart failure and 44% for other illnesses.11
  2. According to a study on the Geisinger Health Plan, patient readmissions were 44% lower over 30 days and 38% lower over 90 days, compared to patients not enrolled in the telemedicine program.11
  3. A study of the outcomes of care for 8,000 patients who used telemedicine services found no difference between the virtual appointment and an in-person office visit.13
  4. About 21% of patients who have used telemedicine services say the quality of care was similar to or higher than an in-person visit.12

Click Here To See TELEMEDICINE In Action

Benefits of Telemedicine

  1. Half of surveyed healthcare executives ranked improving the quality of care as their top reason for implementing telemedicine, and another 18% were most excited about reaching new patients.4
  2. About 42.5% of one survey’s health system respondents found that their primary motivation behind investing in telemedicine tools was filling in gaps in care.14
  3. When asked what the top benefit of telemedicine was, about 19% of surveyed health system respondents said it was the ability to provide round-the-clock care, and about 18.4% said it was the ability to provide remote consultations to patients.14
  4. Almost 75% of all doctor, urgent care, and ER visits are either unnecessary or could be handled safely and effectively over the phone or video.13
  5. In one survey, 21% of patients said not having to travel to the doctor’s visit was the top benefit of telemedicine, while 20% said it was the ability to be cared for from their homes.12
  6. About 53% of patients said that telemedicine somewhat or significantly increases their involvement in treatment decisions. 12
  7. In a 2014 survey of 15 physician practices in 15 metropolitan areas across the U.S., the average wait time for a new patient to see a physician in five surveyed medical specialties was 18.5 days.15

Cost Savings from Telemedicine

  1. U.S. employers could save up to $6 billion per year by providing telemedicine technologies to their employees.5
  2. The Geisinger Health Plan study found that implementation of a telemedicine program generated about 11% in cost savings during that study period. This led to an estimated return on investment of about $3.30 in cost savings for every $1 spent on program implementation.11

Read more: 5 Ways Telehealth Saves Doctors Money 

Patients in Rural Areas

  1. About 20% of Americans live in rural areas without easy access to primary care or specialist medical services.11
  2. Patients in rural areas have limited access to medical specialists; on average, there are only 40 specialists serving a 100,000 rural population.16
  3. Only about one in 10 physicians practice in rural areas in the U.S.16
  4. In one survey, 44.3% of healthcare system respondents said that patient care gaps due to community remoteness were the main reason for adopting telemedicine.14
  5. Adoption numbers for telemedicine are significantly higher at hospitals in more rural areas as compared to urban areas.6

 

Special thanks to the sources of our statistics: American Telemedicine Association, Global Telemedicine Market Outlook 2020, Foley and Lardner LLP, Towers Watson, Center for Connected Health Policy, BCC Research, IHS Technology, NTT Data, Cisco, American Hospital Association, Software Advice, Journal of the American Medical Association, HIMSS Analytics, American Medical Association and Wellness Council of America, Merritt Hawkins, and National Rural Health Association.

  1.  http://www.americantelemed.org/about-telemedicine/faqs#.Vco0MPlViko
  2. http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/qn3csn/global
  3. http://medcitynews.com/2015/05/new-ata-president-tuckson-calls-telehealth-mainstream/
  4. http://www.foley.com/2014-telemedicine-survey-executive-summary/
  5. http://www.towerswatson.com/en/Press/2014/08/current-telemedicine-technology-could-mean-big-savings
  6. http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/telehealth-takes-nationwide
  7. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/05/prweb12736376.htm
  8. http://press.ihs.com/press-release/design-supply-chain-media/global-telehealth-market-set-expand-tenfold-2018
  9. http://americas.nttdata.com/Industries/Industries/Healthcare/~/media/Documents/White-Papers/Trends-in-Telehealth-White-Paper.pdf;
  10. http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1148539
  11. The Promise of Telehealth For Hospitals, Health Systems and Their Communities,TrendWatch, January 2015
  12. http://www.softwareadvice.com/medical/industryview/telemedicine-report-2015/
  13. https://www.poweredbyc2.com/details.aspx?p=BFC9674642988AE3&ppid=94350&beid=0DEC3E4079E23759
  14. http://www.fiercehealthit.com/story/himss-analytics-most-providers-adopt-telemedicine-close-patient-care-gaps/2014-08-14
  15. http://www.merritthawkins.com/uploadedFiles/MerrittHawkings/Surveys/mha2014waitsurvPDF.pdf
  16. http://www.ruralhealthweb.org/go/left/about-rural-health/what-s-different-about-rural-health-care

Topics: eVisit Blog Posts, compliance, costs, health IT, healthcare, healthcare systems, HIPAA, HIT, hospitals, mHealth, profitability, research, statistics, telehealth, Telemedicine

Teresa Iafolla

About Teresa Iafolla

Teresa Iafolla is an expert writer, researcher, and content wrangler who has previously worked as director of content marketing for a telehealth company and associate editor for a healthcare publishing company.

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