Telehealth or virtual care is gaining importance in day-to-day healthcare practice as it provides affordable, high quality and efficient virtual care. Healthcare organizations are improving delivery of services, and increasing access to specialty care by providing disease management, remote diagnosis, health education monitoring and consumer outreach services by using highly secure & broadband networks. Virtual care involves medical training, healthcare experience, monitoring, education and other such medical activities, with the support of telecommunications technologies. Virtual care includes the necessary software, hardware, and network infrastructure. Virtual care is often used for various minor illnesses such as flu, bladder infection, cold, pink eye, sinus infection, rash, bladder infection, dizziness, urinary tract infection, allergies, cough and sore throat. Certain benefits offered by virtual care market are increase in the reach of scarce specialty care resources, reduced costs (healthcare costs, travel time and cost and hospital readmission rates), rapid critical medical interventions, and supports improved patient compliance and efficient delivery of continued medical education. Virtual care aids in eliminating the occurrence of any fraud medical practice. Furthermore, insurance companies have been keen on increasing coverage for such virtual healthcare services. The global virtual care market is expected to witness lucrative growth with significant CAGR during the forecast period.
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The drivers of virtual care market are rising penetration of smartphones, increasing acceptance of integrated business models by the healthcare industry, growing primary care shortages, rising popularity of virtual care market by the Affordable Care Act. In addition, decrease in the number of personal visits (non-emergency medical conditions) and resource optimization in the healthcare industry are some factors expected to drive overall growth of the global virtual care market
While, some restraints are limiting the growth of global virtual care market such as, speed and connectivity issues, cross-state licensure, limited reimbursement through Medicare and private insurers, resistance of healthcare professionals and patients to change, up-front costs and privacy data security issues.
Global Virtual Care Market: Segmentation
The global virtual care market can be segmented as follows:
Global Virtual Care Market, by Type of Platform
- Video (laptops, tablets, smartphones and desktops)
- Audio (telephonic devices)
- Messaging or Chat
- Kiosk (at various employer sites, pharmacies and emergency room in hospitals)
Global Virtual Care Market, by Deployment Type
Globally, the video based virtual care platform is anticipated to have the largest market share, followed by audio, kiosk and messaging or chat. In addition, on a smaller scale, private medical groups utilize videoconferencing (VC) technology to deliver affordable walk-in health services at clinics. Cloud-based segment is expected to enable providers to handle remote care programs to particular populations, an economical shift of patients from an acute-care situation to self-managed behavior. However, patients are rapidly utilizing apps (through smartphone or mobile) due to convenience offered.
Geographically, the global virtual care market can be divided into seven regions, namely North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ), Japan, and the Middle East and Africa (MEA). North America and Western & Eastern Europe are expected to exhibit highest growth rates among other regions in the global virtual care market owing to government initiatives to augment the adoption of healthcare IT and the growing need to provide healthcare at competitive costs, increasing investments by service providers in advanced medical technology and widespread adoption of remote healthcare in these regions. APEJ, Japan and Latin America are the next critical regions in the global virtual care market due to the high incidence of chronic diseases, large patient population and rising healthcare expenditure. MEA is strongly influenced by all other regions and is following similar trends for the global virtual care market because of increasing awareness about telemedicine and access to specialty physicians through telehealth.
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The key players working in the virtual care market are
- Teladoc, Inc.
- AT&T Inc.
- MDLIVE, Inc.
- American Well Corporation
- AMD Global Telemedicine, Inc.
- Koninklijke Philips N.V.
- CHI Health
- General Electric Company
- Premera Blue Cross
- United HealthCare Services Inc.
- THA Group
- Integrity Urgent Care
- Celtic Healthcare
- edgeMED Healthcare
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