How the COVID-19 pandemic turned the tables around for telemedicine apps?

A screenshot of a video game

When the coronavirus struck economies around the world, businesses started to fall. Medical practitioners have begun to take their services online by offering virtual consultations. Since people follow the social distancing norms prescribed by WHO, in-person consultations have dropped. People have started to make appointments with their usual doctors on video conferencing apps like Zoom, Facetime, etc. But it had more flaws than the advantages it offered. These apps might compromise the doctor-patient confidentiality. Zoom, a video conferencing app that has gained immense popularity after the outbreak of COVID-19, has been in the news for its vulnerability. 

The need for telemedicine apps:

    There arises a need to set privacy standards to get doctor consultations, and telemedicine apps provided the ideal elements needed for it. Medical practitioners can care for their patients amid this pandemic by interacting with them on virtual screens. Reports from McKinsey&Co. have concluded that the number of people using telemedicine apps in the US has increased by 46% in June. It was a significant increase in terms of user engagement, as last year's figure was a mere 11%. Scientists have predicted that coronavirus is here to stay at least until the end of 2021, even if we successfully develop a vaccine.  

    Industry experts have predicted that the vertical trend of telemedicine apps will continue to grow. They have also suggested that on-demand doctor consultation apps will get embedded as a primary part of the healthcare ecosystem in the near future. Using these apps on a broader scale will reduce emergency room usage by 20% and patients' visits to health care offices by 25%. Currently, telemedicine apps' market value is valued to be $250 billion, and this figure is a massive spike compared to the revenue of $3 billion generated in 2019.  

How long has it been in the market?

    People might misjudge telemedicine apps for a new concept but it has been in the market for several years. It had come a long way and been through several evolution stages even before the digital technologies took over. For most of its time, telemedicine services were primarily used by people in the remote/hilly regions. It was started to serve patients and was not commercialized by then mainly. Astronauts who spend months at a time in the International Space Station found virtual consultations to be effective. Initially, several restrictions were imposed upon health professionals who served across state borders and stumbled for several years to become a global solution.

Bottom line:    

Telemedicine apps are proven to offer faster and cheaper healthcare services. It also lets doctors attend to more patients in a considerably lesser time compared to traditional services. Healthcare providers can potentially increase their profits as the services will be available round the clock. By working closely with on-demand doctor app development companies, healthcare providers are able to integrate exclusive features into their platform from time to time. These apps are designed carefully to ensure that patients need not have any technical skills to use the telemedicine platform. 

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