The global market for telehealth and telemedicine will reach $32.5 billion by 2018

The global market for telehealth and telemedicine will reach $32.5 billion by 2018

The provision of healthcare services and information by telecommunication methods – or ‘telehealth’ – holds the potential to change the way many of us receive medical care, states a new report by healthcare sector experts GlobalData.

According to a new research report from London-based Global Data, the worldwide telehealth and telemedicine market will experience a boom in growth over the next few years as technology continues to expand, both in terms of number of applications and availability.

From a 2011 valuation of $13.2 billion, the global market for telehealth and telemedicine will jump to $32.5 billion by 2018, climbing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14%.

According to GlobalData, the key factors driving the industry include the need to increase the reach of quality medical care to remote locations, reduce healthcare expenditure and enable the optimal usage of limited provider resources.

The accelerated growth of robust telecommunication technologies, the increased adoption of related healthcare IT solutions and the readiness of companies and governments to invest are also contributing to the market’s double-digit growth.

Currently the US dominates the industry, holding a 51% share in 2011, but it is the Asia-Pacific region that is estimated to exhibit the most impressive growth.

In 2011, Asia-Pacific contributed $2 billion to the global telehealth and telemedicine market and this is expected to almost quadruple by the end of 2018, to just under $8 billion. This means a CAGR of 21%, while the US and European markets are expected to climb at the less substantial rates of 12% and 13%, respectively.

Growth in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to be driven by improved awareness of the model’s potential for expanding the penetration of affordable medical care to the wider population, with the governments of India and China rapidly adopting and pushing telehealth to cater to the needs of the huge rural patient population.

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