Experts continue to predict a bright future for telemedicine and digital health. Estimates for industry growth have steadily remained in the 20-25% per year mark over the last three years. These predictions span the global spectrum, including worldwide marketplaces and a diverse industries.
Behavioral and mental health continues to be an area of predicted growth. Sadly, growth is inhibited by inability of clinicians to bill for their services, nor for hospitals to collect reimbursements for the physicians they pay to staff these deals. Cost of programs and the fee-for-service model continue to prevent marketplace explosion for these services. It remains to be seen if this growth is achievable given the considerable fiscal limitations that currently exist.
While this also predicts growth in the Asia Pacific markets, it similarly neglects key components to these markets that have – to date – inhibited growth, namely the strict oversight and suffocating regulatory environment that exists in that region. Both technology and clinical laws in China, for example, are among the strictest in the world, and naturally inhibit exponential growth in the market ripe for expansion.
It remains to be seen whether these hurdles will be overcome to allow telemedicine and digital health to reach their true market potential.