COVID-19 is increasing need for telehealth in schools.

 

As millions of children in America return to school, the disruptive presence and impact of COVID-19 lingers. One notable result of the pandemic was the healthcare industry’s increased reliance on remote patient monitoring and telehealth—aka telemedicine. The use of telehealth in the classroom is poised to play an important role in the present and future of this healthcare segment, according to leading medical market research publisher Kalorama Information in the 2021 report Remote Patient Monitoring and Telehealth Markets, 12th Edition.

Telehealth/telemedicine includes sending images to a specialist, live two-way video consultations between patient and provider, capturing and sending data from monitoring devices, and/or incorporating data and images into electronic medical records (EMRs).  Reasons for using telehealth vary, but typically include improved access to healthcare for patients in remote locations, cost effectiveness, and patient demand.

“The global patient monitoring and telehealth market has continued its expansion in the institutional, home, and even school segments of the health market with the United States and many European countries at the forefront of implementation.” – Kalorama Information

The Emerging Role of Telehealth in Schools

Worldwide, school-based telehealth is a growing trend in developed nations.  The United States has been at the forefront of implementation with rapid expansion of programs in schools since 2017, though COVID-19 has made implementation more necessary than ever before. There are several additional reasons for the growing trend including:

  • School nurses are in a position to evaluate and notice health issues in students;
  • Reduced potential for missed work and missed school days due to immediate available care;
  • Less time spent traveling and missing school or work for in-person visits;
  • Lower costs associated with telehealth compared to in-person care; and
  • May provide an additional option for low-income families that find care inaccessible.

There are several current and potential applications to school-based telehealth including:

  • Acute care,
  • Dentistry,
  • Sports medicine,
  • Counseling,
  • Behavior health,
  • Vaccination,
  • Follow-up care.

There is also a growing practice for using telehealth in school-based programs to help monitor and manage youth with special needs.  There are more than 15 million children alone in the United States with special health needs and upwards of 60 percent do not have resources for continued coordinated and comprehensive care.  Both during the pandemic and beyond, telehealth programs in schools may help address the shortfall through a partnership with pediatricians, school nurses, and families.

Remote Patient Monitoring and Telehealth a $54.5 Billion Global Market

Overall, Kalorama Information estimates the global patient monitoring and telehealth market was valued at $54.5 billion for 2020, inclusive of devices, peripherals, software, packaged services, monitoring services and other applications.  COVID-19 increased the global patient monitoring and telehealth market by more than $2.8 billion last year, even without factoring in growth in the market for standard telemedicine, which also was highly impacted during the pandemic as screening visits and routine visits were shifted to online video and telephone visits.

New approaches to treating and monitoring patients–such as telehealth–are emerging in response to increased healthcare needs of an aging population, new wireless technologies, better video and monitoring technologies, decreasing healthcare resources, an emphasis on reducing hospital days, and proven cost-effectiveness.

 

Before COVID-19, the telehealth industry was evolving slowly with slight gains annually.  Today, the pandemic has thrust the world into a new era of remote life, including managing, monitoring and treating patients and their health conditions at a pace never experienced before.  As a result of COVID-19, the global market for patient monitoring and telehealth increased by more than $2.8 billion in 2020 to reach $54.5 billion, according to leading medical market research publisher Kalorama Information in the new report Remote Patient Monitoring.

There is a new focus on pandemic preparedness and in-place infrastructure development for quick deployment of remote care technologies, which have made telehealth among the most cost-effective ways for the healthcare industry to meet the evolving requirements of patients. Kalorama’s market estimate includes sales of devices, peripherals, software, packaged services, monitoring services and other patient monitoring and telehealth applications.

Telehealth (sometimes also referred to as telemedicine) includes sending images to a specialist, live two-way video consultations between patient and provider, capturing and sending data from monitoring devices, and/or incorporating data and images into EMRs.  Reasons for using telehealth include improved access to healthcare for patients in remote locations, cost effectiveness, and patient demand.

Beyond the impact of COVID-19, the patient monitoring and telehealth market has also benefited from the demand to move to a more wireless and streamline operation both within major health facilities and in-home treatment markets.  The demand to integrate data processing capabilities and electronic medical record (EMR) transfer options has also fueled the market. Further, there is an increasing trend to upgrade to ambulatory and hand-held devices.

Looking ahead, Kalorama Information forecasts the global patient monitoring and telehealth market will experience healthy growth between 2021 and 2025.  Growth in patient monitoring technologies will be due to several factors, including:

  • An aging population
  • Replacement of older, low-technology equipment with new wireless or remote units
  • Growing acceptability and knowledge of technology features and benefits
  • Additional monitoring efforts in an effort to alleviate healthcare problems before they require hospitalization or emergency department visits
  • New technological advancements in the area of wireless connectivity
  • Government incentives and rebates that will grow demands for health facilities
  • Increasing reimbursement coverage for remote care

For more insights and information, purchase Remote Patient Monitoring by Kalorama Information at: https://kaloramainformation.com/product/remote-patient-monitoring/.