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Telehealth - A Keystone for Future Healthcare Delivery

  • ID: 28458
  • March 2003
  • 121 Pages
  • HBS Medical Limited
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The evolution of telehealth is not only expected to reshape the delivery of consultations, monitoring and treatments it is also expected to reshape healthcare providers’ and patient/citizens’ access to healthcare services. Healthcare delivery is no longer controlled and will be less and less controlled by secondary and primary healthcare providers.

Telehealth is a new platform on which healthcare provision can be reshaped to meet the challenges of an aging population and more demanding and discerning patients/citizens. Telehealth involves automating all routine healthcare processes, from monitoring blood sugar levels to administering drugs, and extending the distribution of more complex and expert medical expertise, by using videoconferencing to deliver consultations or surgical support. Following both these paths delivers benefits to healthcare provisioning, enabling medical staff to work more effectively, whatever their level of expertise or responsibility. Telehealth provides them with a tool to eradicate mundane and low-value healthcare processes and maximise their core skills and expertise. The same level of automation that is routine amongst financial and retail verticals for example, are not as prevalent within the healthcare community. Changes underway have the potential to fundamentally change the delivery of healthcare in the near and long-term.

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1. Executive Summary
2. What is ‘Telehealth’?
Telehealth Definitions Discussion
The Technology Behind Telehealth
Broadband technologies and other enablers
Videoconferencing and interactive
diagnosis and consulting
Store and forward
Secondary and primary telehealth
Home care telehealth
Standardisation, compatibility, scalability,
ease of use and ergonomics
Telehealth Impact on Medical Disciplines and
Appropriateness
Medical Personnel and Telehealth Interaction
The Patient and Telehealth Interaction
Government Interaction and Telehealth
Urban, Rural and Remote Telehealth
3. Secondary Healthcare and Telehealth
Development
Current Environment
Telehealth Expansion
4. Home Care Telehealth and Primary
Healthcare Provision
Current Environment
Telehealth Expansion
5. Market Dynamics
Reimbursement Concerns
Healthcare Bypass
Technology – Market Obstruction and
Unlocking
Potential
Data Security, Back-up, Retrieval,
Authentication, Patient
Confidentiality and Liability
Aging Population and Increasing Incidence of
“Western Diseases” and Conditions
Cost Benefits and Return on Investment
Justification
Lack of Healthcare Professionals and
Maximising Personnel Resources
Preventative Medicine
6. Telehealth Market Activity
Market Outlook
Market Roadmap
7. Country Modules
North America - USA and Canada
Pacific Rim – Australia, Japan, Malaysia
Europe – Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, UK
8. Corporate Activity
Medical Equipment Manufacturers
Network and IT related Equipment
Manufacturers and Vendors
Software Developers
Service Providers and Health ASPs
System Integrators
Pharmacies and Pharmaceuticals
9. Industry Structure Development
Healthcare Suppliers
Structural Development of Healthcare
Provision
10. Strategies for Success
11. Conclusion

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Telehealth has rapidly become one of the most talked about IT healthcare markets at the beginning of the 21st Century. For purposes of market analysis within this report telehealth is defined as the application of telecommunications and information technology to delivery of health care and health related services and information over large and small distances. This definition which is intended to be broader than the one used to define telemedicine services, takes into account the involvement of nursing staff , healthcare administrators and educators in healthcare provision via networking technologies currently at hand. Market estimates do not include revenues considered to be applied to pilot projects (of which there are many throughout the world) and a prudent attempt has been made through primary research to analyse corporate revenue generation purely applied to telehealth applications. The MarketHBS Consulting considers the global telehealth market to be valued at $3.19bn in 2003 with the potential to reach a global market estimate of $7.67bn in 2006. Regionally, HBS Consulting would consider the major market opportunities to lie in the Pacific Rim over the forecast period as a number of key initiatives targeting the telehealth sector are implemented. As examples we cite the recent changes to favourable reimbursement of the use of telehealth solutions in the home care sector in Japan, the continued development and support of telehealth applications as part of the Multimedia Super Corridor initiative and the ongoing favourable climate for health IT applications in Australia and New Zealand. Revenue growth along these levels is considered to be dependent upon the development of the telehealth market along the current path of point-to-point applications to more relevant multi-point, integrated solutions. Market DevelopmentThe penetration of telehealth in the healthcare environment depends on the successful deployment of integrated healthcare communication systems (iHCS). Without this undertaking telehealth will remain a point solution and will not gain the capability to be universally deployed. In order for telehealth to develop into wideranging solutions it must develop alongside iHCS.

Telehealth requires an underlying integrated infrastructure and iHCS, which provide this infrastructure (which includes development of clinical systems such as EPR) in turn is dependent upon telehealth solutions to partly justify government investment in the healthcare IT field. Employed correctly, telehealth has the capacity to assist in bringing clinically based IT efficiencies to iHCS systems. StrategiesSuccessful deployment of telehealth applications should result in assisting the flow of clinical information between the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare establishments. Whilst the use of IT solutions is considered crucial to addressing workflow deficiencies and positively impacting health outcomes companies supplying into the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare sectors should not confine their marketing activities, in the future, to these sectors of the healthcare arena. Distribution channels and target markets for telehealth products and solutions are widening. Home healthcare is a prime example of this trend and one that is well accepted. It can be argued that a primary strategy for companies operating in the sector is a review of the potential utilisation of their solutions via alternative channels, examples of which might be “multimedia health kiosks” situated in relevant locations such as pharmacies or fitness centres. Basically, telehealth solutions can be envisaged as developing outside physician offices and hospitals. The increased reliance of the technology on networks brings into focus the expanded role envisaged for IT companies and dedicated telehealth solutions providers in partnership. A forecast increase in market consolidation is anticipated and the development of the telehealth industry as a whole is expected to follow the development of the IT market in recent times. Two examples of strategies discussed within the report are: - Centralisation of IT solutions, both in public and private sectors, will lead to healthcare providers being persuaded to deal with a small number of companies. This will serve to eradicate the need to negotiate with or manage a larger number of suppliers. - IT outsourcing will become a preferred choice for healthcare providers to follow. The purchasing authority will need to purchase solutions from companies capable of delivering most of their solution needs. This will more than likely be one-stop-shop in nature, to reduce complexity in dealing with different companies. Unless a required solution is extremely niche in nature, healthcare providers will seek to reduce the number of their suppliers. A barrier to greater penetration of telehealth solutions in healthcare delivery remains the lack of communication of the technology’s benefits. Telehealth providers would do well to increase their support of initiatives aimed at highlighting how inadequacies in communication at the primary-secondary care interface lead to the sub-optimal care of patients resulting in unnecessary follow-up, duplication of tests and investigations and dissatisfaction from patients and clinicians. Analysing and addressing patient-related work flow and accentuating product capabilities in this regard can convey significant competitive advantage in the market place. The HBS Consulting report aims to show the state of the telehealth market as it stands currently and to depict the key market dynamics shaping its forward development. Activities of the principal and niche market players are discussed and the current business strategies that they are deploying are also analysed. Given the dearth of business-oriented publications in this area, the HBS Consulting report is positioned to serve as a useful tool for Business Development, Marketing Directors and Managers and Corporate Developers in this rapidly expanding and exciting field.

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