Telehealth and virtual care to remain a staple of the healthcare sector post COVID-19: Poll

27 July 2020 (Last Updated July 27th, 2020 14:53)

The healthcare sector has traditionally relied on in-person visits for consultations and health checks despite the existence of telehealth services.

The healthcare sector has traditionally relied on in-person visits for consultations and health checks despite the existence of telehealth services. The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, accelerated the use of telehealth services to minimise infections.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess whether telehealth services will remain a staple of the healthcare sector even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Analysis of the poll results shows that telehealth services and virtual care technology will remain a staple of the healthcare sector even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

A majority 63% of the respondents opined that telehealth services will remain a staple in the healthcare sector and its adoption will increase even after the pandemic subsides, while 20% of the respondents felt that telehealth services will remain a staple but adoption and usage will slow down after the pandemic subsides.

Further, 17% of the respondents felt that telehealth services will not remain a staple in the healthcare sector and its usage will remain high only during the pandemic.

Telehealth and virtual care post COVID-19

The analysis is based on 93 responses received from the readers of Hospital Management, a Verdict network site, between 01 May and 16 July.

Use of telehealth services post COVID-19

Telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic proved vital in providing healthcare services, while increasing patient empowerment, according to GlobalData. Management of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and heart disease that lead to increased hospital visits and mortality rates if left uncontrolled was made possible without in-person visits.

Legacy systems, regulations, and technical challenges initially hindered the uptake of telehealth services but were soon overcome showcasing the speed digitisation can be implemented in the healthcare sector. The increased use of telehealth services is expected to continue post-COVID-19 with healthcare providers making it a permanent option.

The telemedicine industry is expected to reach $20bn by 2024, according to GlobalData’s estimates. Cost of set-up and maintenance, however, still poses a challenge for the sector, adds GlobalData.