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$130B by 2025: Checking in on the Growing Telemedicine Market

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Telehealth, virtual healthcare tools, telemedicine and the virtual care technology industries are growing at an incredible speed.

Patients in Canada can now pay a fee to receive care from a physician which includes:

  • Diagnosis for medical conditions
  • Acute care
  • Chronic care
  • Labs and referrals
  • Prescriptions
  • Medical Notes
  • Medical advice
  • Mental health

Payment models vary among providers and range from annual fees for individuals and families, to one-time fees for single consultations.

$130.5 billion by 2025

According to a report entitled, 2019 Telemedicine and Locum Tenens Opportunities Study: Measuring Physician Interest in Emerging Employment Areas, the telemedicine market will exceed $130.5 billion (US) by 2025. This expansion known as hyper-growth, will be sparked by an increased need for access to care and the creation of technology that allows providers to provide care remotely. Meanwhile, patient adoption of telemedicine and its technologies, that allow patients to access a doctor virtually in real-time, has generated growth in this industry.

The report, released by Doximity, indicates that the number of physicians listing telemedicine as a skill has gone up year over year: “According to an American Medical Association study, over 15% of physicians work in practices that use telemedicine. This aligns with the growth Doximity has observed within a relatively short period of time. In three years (2015–2018), the number of physicians who self-reported telemedicine as a skill doubled, increasing 20% year. This steady growth correlates with the growing number of telemedicine patient visits, according to a recent report published in JAMA, which states patient visits grew 261 percent between 2015 and 2017.”

In terms of practice areas, physicians rated radiology and psychiatry as the top two telemedicine specialties of interest while anesthesiology and general surgery were the rated lowest area of interest among medical specialties.   

Telemedicine in Canada

In Canada, telemedicine is gaining popularity though its growth lags behind that of the United States. In a 2018 interview with CMAJ News, Dr.Brett Belchetz, CEO of private telemedicine company, Maple, said “There’s this tremendous fear of telemedicine in Canada, as if it’s something that’s never been done.”

Canadian doctors have expressed concerns about telemedicine, including that for-profit telemedicine goes against the universality principle of the Canada Health Act. Doctors are also concerned that without access to a patient’s medical records, telemedicine providers might not have enough information for diagnosis.

In a statement on their website, The Canadian Medical Protection Agency (CMAP), acknowledges the coming telemedicine wave and indicates it will focus on:

  • Benefits and limitations
  • Jurisdictional licensing
  • Privacy and information
  • Patient consent in telemedicine
  • CMAP assistance

All physicians offering telemedicine in Canada are licensed and practice family or emergency medicine in Canada. 

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Until next time!

CDA Oasis Team

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