A majority of health care professionals say telemedicine is now a high priority for their organizations, and is already providing a measurable return on investment (ROI), according to an Aeris survey of more than 150 health care professionals.
A majority of respondents also believe telemedicine can deliver similar outcomes to in-person doctor visits and said telemedicine was either mission-critical or important for their organizations.
Although the consensus is favorable toward telemedicine, it is still in the early stages of adoption. Of the respondents, 32 percent had already deployed a telemedicine solution for their health care organization, while 17 percent were in the process of deploying one.
Only five percent considered it not immediately important, but a fast-growing investment area.
A small selection of respondents—7 percent--did not see the benefits of telemedicine, which suggested that telemedicine solutions were not relevant or needed at their health care organization, and only 4 percent considered telemedicine unimportant for their organization and the wider industry.
The vast majority (84 percent) of survey respondents believe that the technology industry has evolved well enough to produce telemedicine devices capable of delivering similar outcomes for patients treated at a hospital, clinic, or a doctor’s office--only 13 percent indicated the technology still has a way to go before achieving these goals.
Around 29 percent of the survey respondents cited technology complexity as a barrier, and 24 percent suggested patient discomfort or distrust in communicating through technology as a challenges facing telemedicine adoption.
The lack of licensing and reimbursement standards is considered the biggest barrier to successful telemedicine adoption with 50 percent of those surveyed raising concerns over the issue.
A quarter of the respondents also believed the lack of FDA regulations would further affect telemedicine adoption-- patient information has considerably more risk in telemedicine because information is shared over the Internet or across connections not controlled by the providing hospital, according to 27 percent of survey respondents.
Respondents also cited reliability concerns, lack of education, and inadequate revenue generation models as notable barriers to successful telemedicine adoption.
Survey respondents highlighted cost savings and the expansive reach of quality healthcare with minimal resource limitations as the key value propositions.
The study found that 59 percent of respondents ranked providing care for more patients with fewer resource requirements as the greatest benefit of telemedicine, while 21 percent believe that serving patients in remote locations via telemedicine is the biggest advantage.
Being able to spend more time with each patient, thanks to telemedicine, is equally valuable, according to 8 percent of respondents.