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The global telemedicine market size was USD 41.6 billion in 2019. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with telemedicine products and services witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global telemedicine market will exhibit a stellar growth of 91.7% in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 79.8 billion in 2020 to USD 396.8 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 25.8% in 2020-2027. The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Significant Acceleration in the Adoption of Telemedicine Among Physicians Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The pandemic caused a huge decline in the number of patient visits due to the lockdowns and social distancing rules. The huge drop in consultations led to many physicians either closing down or thinking about closing their practice due to the inability to stay afloat.
The adoption of telemedicine was also driven due to the relaxation of regulations and broadening of coverage for virtual consultations to ensure that physicians are able to provide care to patients during the lockdown.
On March 30, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced regulatory changes to make it easier for patients in the U.S. to receive medical care through telemedicine services.
All these factors contributed to a huge surge in the number of telemedicine consultations in 2020, especially in the period when there was considerable disruption due to COVID-19.
Long Wait Time due to Shortage of Physicians or Low Number of Physicians Per Capita
The shortage of physicians results in long waiting times for patients seeking medical care for the diagnosis and treatment of their conditions. In developed countries, the waiting time to see a specialist is quite considerable whereas in some developing countries, access to medical care is hindered due to the low density of physicians.
Adoption of telemedicine improves patient access to physician care and the adoption is expected to be higher among specialties, where the shortage of physicians is pronounced or among countries with low physician density.
A U.S. study, which was conducted in 2018, found that almost all the patients received a dermatology consultation within 48 hours through teledermatology appointments.
Historically, the awareness and usage of telemedicine services among patients has been low even when telemedicine offers benefits such as lower healthcare costs and improved healthcare access. Over the last few years and before the impact of COVID-19, the adoption of telehealth has been growing at a consistent pace, mainly due to government initiatives to drive adoption and education provided by physicians.
Rising Healthcare Costs and Increasing Burden on Healthcare Services Due to Ageing Population and Growth in Prevalence of Chronic Diseases
An aging population and the growing prevalence of chronic conditions are driving huge growth in healthcare spending and the demand for healthcare services in various settings. This is encouraging governments, healthcare systems, health insurance providers, and healthcare facilities to adopt alternate models such as telemedicine to provide patient care and management, to lower cost, and reduce the burden on healthcare systems.