Video Consultations with Doctors May Double by 2020 – A recent report from IHS Technology states that in the US telehealth and virtual consultations with your primary care physician may become quite common soon.
According to Roeen Roeshan, who authored the report, this year, there were 2 million video consultations in the US and these are likely to grow over the next five years to 5.4 million. Roshean attributes this primarily to the expanding health insurance coverage. Health insurance companies are not only covering such consultations but seem to be pushing this trend, as a means to providing patients with high-quality care and cutting costs. Trips to emergency rooms are expensive, and can be avoided, particularly for quick answers on ongoing treatments.
The report points out that virtual consultations can also cut down the costs of non-adherence to doctor’s treatments, which currently costs $100 to $289 billion every year. Telehealth can make it easier for patients to follow up with their doctors and get their questions answered and doubts clarified without having to visit their doctors.
Health insurance companies like UnitedHealth, Aetna, Anthem, and Signa are at the forefront of this trend. UnitedHealth has announced that it will soon make available video consultation services to members in self-funded plans, via providers such as Doctor on Demand, Now Clinic, and American Well.