Telehealth to transform health care say experts

MAY 19, 2010 -- Health care delivery in the United States will undergo dramatic changes over the next 10 years through the adoption of telehealth, according to a national survey of health care and information technology professionals sponsored by Intel Corp.

MAY 19, 2010 -- Health care delivery in the United States will undergo dramatic changes over the next 10 years through the adoption of telehealth, according to a national survey of health care and information technology professionals sponsored by Intel Corp.

The study found that a majority of decision makers believe that the emergence of telehealth will have a major role in improving the quality and delivery of care to an increasingly chronically ill and aging population.

Telehealth solutions, which deliver health-related services and information via telecommunications and computing technologies, are currently being used by two-thirds of health care professionals with an 87 percent satisfaction rate. Of the survey respondents not currently utilizing telehealth, 50 percent plan on implementing it within the next year as the market for telehealth and home health monitoring is expected to grow from $3 billion in 2009 to an estimated $7.7 billion by 2012.1

The study shows clinical decision makers believe that the adoption of technology, and particularly telehealth solutions, will cut costs and improve patient outcomes. Additionally, the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides an impetus to start using new models of care when dealing with chronically ill and aging populations. For respondents, health care legislation will have the biggest impact on health care delivery in the next 5 years, and they have high confidence that the law will accelerate the adoption of telehealth.

According to clinical decision makers, reimbursement is the primary barrier to telehealth adoption.

Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) conducted 75 phone interviews with health care and IT professionals in the United States who play a role in determining telehealth adoption and implementation within their organizations. Overall, margin of error is +/-11.3 percent.

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