Telemedicine Roundtable: Top Experts Weigh In On The State Of The Industry

Telemedicine is a field that attracts a lot of attention around the world, and deservedly so. The development of telemedicine technology has made healthcare available to patients who had limited access before, whether due to financial situation, remote location, or other reasons.

On top of that, telemedicine has allowed doctors and hospitals to increase their customer base and reach new locations without expanding physically. This is why telemedicine is a very alluring industry with a lot of potential right now. We’ve already talked at length about telemedicine as a business venture and how to develop a telemedicine application. And now, to help our readers better understand the business side of telemedicine and decide whether they want to join the industry, we have asked a few healthcare and tech professionals to share their insights. Here is what they had to say.

Growth and benefits of telemedicine

Why venture into telemedicine now? While the pandemic accelerated the adoption of telemedicine, forecasts indicate the market will continue to grow over the next several years. Telemedicine has proved itself as an effective tool for screenings and assessments. 

Health systems benefit from improved patient satisfaction and access, while patients get the convenient care they want and need. More healthcare organizations are expected to integrate telemedicine with imaging modalities, such as ultrasound, to enable more patients to receive this type of care.

Heather Johnson, Medtech Marketing Consultant and President, OutWord Bound Communications

Aging population depends on telemedicine

As the population ages, the demand for healthcare services increases. Telemedicine can help meet this demand by providing accessible and efficient healthcare solutions for elderly patients. In this case, it’s very important that application has a clear and intuitive user interface. Most older people are fascinated with the global digitalization process and spend a lot of time on their smartphones. 

For example, my 75 year old mother uses many apps and often knows mobile phone features better than me. She likes the possibility of integrating apps with different sensors like blood pressure control, glucose meters, temperature sensors, and others. And thanks to telemedicine, she now has the ability to share data with doctors and monitor treatment process and status instead of visiting clinics.

Nikolay Pivovarov, Delivery Manager, QArea

Perfect time for a telemedicine venture

The loss of jobs owing to COVID-19 restrictions created market spikes for mental health counseling, nutritional therapy, and emergency medical responses. Today, a chasm persists between the healthcare client and the provider due to increasing costs of medicines, complicated distribution logistics, and insurance not being universally available, among other challenges. 

However, with wide-reaching internet access available in most places and high unemployment due to falling revenues/endowments (including hospitals), the time is now perfect for healthcare professionals to venture into telemedicine. Robust online video conferencing platforms are but one technology that is currently in demand for telemedicine. Another is online banking and virtual payment systems. 

One challenge of telemedicine software development is the ability for the software to be simple enough for average persons (especially senior ones) to use while being able to meet professional healthcare standards.

Jerome Lynch, Management Consultant

What matters in a telemedicine application

Nowadays we used to do a lot of things online. We can learn languages, have therapy sessions, pay our bills, and even have doctor appointments. Yes, it’s is often a life-saving practice and I can tell you exactly why.  

We can differentiate visits that require a medical examination, any type of complex tests, x-ray, MRIs, etc. But there are a lot of situations where the appointment can be easily condensed into a voice consultation to discuss the test results and plan further treatment. And with online consultations, using telemedicine is beneficial to both sides in terms of saving time and reducing the risk of disease transmission.

A clear and user-friendly interface for booking appointments, talking to doctors, and reviewing test results are the most important aspects of the whole process of telemedicine, as our health and wellbeing depends on them in more ways than one.

Yehor Sokhan, UI/UX Design Lead, QArea

Caution and innovation in the telehealth market

Entering the telehealth market at this time does not always work out due to the saturation of market leaders and recent entrants. Generating traction is increasingly difficult unless there is substantial funding, a unique product or service offering, and key staff and supporters who can provide introductions and entry to the market. This is particularly true for technology-driven enterprises as opposed to healthcare-driven ones.

Remote patient monitoring (RPM), supported by in-home monitoring devices integrated with the patient’s EHR, is gaining adoption as a method of providing real-time feedback to both providers and patients. Encouraging greater patient engagement in maintaining their health is key to reducing long-term costs and improving quality of life.

The development of telemedicine software should prioritize ease of use for both providers and patients. Intuitive design and simple navigation are crucial for successful adoption and implementation.

Peter Caplan, Managing Consultant

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Remote patient monitoring: Reach and accessibility

Telemedicine can break down geographical barriers, making healthcare services available to people in remote areas or those with limited mobility. It can also improve access to specialists and second opinions. Here is an example: because of the Russian invasion, millions of Ukrainians that had to move to other European countries, where they may not necessarily know the language, which may make in-person doctor appointments tricky for both parties. Many of them found medical help and support by using healthcare apps in their smartphones (e.g. Healthy, Health Passport, and others) to chat online with family doctors and continue treatment that was started before the war.

Nikolay Pivovarov, Delivery Manager, QArea

Data privacy challenge in telemedicine

One key challenge in telemedicine software development is ensuring data privacy and security. Telemedicine platforms handle sensitive patient information, including medical records, personal details, and, potentially, video consultations. 

It is essential to safeguard this data from unauthorized access, data breaches, and to ensure compliance with privacy regulations like HIPAA. Staying updated with industry best practices and emerging cybersecurity threats is essential to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of patient data.

Khurram Mir, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Kualitatem Inc.

COVID-19 boosts telemedicine demand

With the advancement of technology and the outbreak of COVID-19 in the past few years, it is a perfect time to venture into the telemedicine market. Due to fear of infections, many people nowadays are preferring to take professional treatment at home, which is making this market land into the top trends. 

Since consultations are based purely on virtual sessions, the demand for software that provides good-quality video conferencing has increased dramatically. One of the challenges that I believe telemedicine software development is facing is the ability to keep track of patient records. Moreover, reachability in all the local areas is also one of the challenges software development in this industry faces.

Faizan Khan, Public Relations and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy UK

VR headset revolutionizes telemedicine

The recent launch of Apple’s Vision Pro, a VR headset made for work use, opens up new ways to make telemedicine better. Up until now, telemedicine has mostly used basic tools like video calls, phone calls, emails, or text messages, similar to what we use for work-from-home setups.

But with this professional VR headset, there’s a whole new range of options. If you’re thinking about getting into telemedicine, it’s a good idea to look into the Vision Pro. Try to find out how you can get your app on its App Store early, learn what they require, and see what special features you could build thanks to its capabilities to make your service stand out in a busy market.

Rafael Sarim Özdemir, Founder and CEO, Zendog Labs

AI and cost challenges in telemedicine

After COVID-19, taking care of mental and physical health has become crucial. People have started to focus on their mental health more than ever before. Online consultations with doctors and the use of online medical services have become a trend in 2023. The sudden isolation and limit on socializing have greatly impacted people’s mental health.

AI technology has significantly increased efficiency and accuracy in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Large amounts of medical data can be analyzed in a few minutes, which helps doctors make the right decisions quickly. They can diagnose patients with great accuracy. Many times, AI supports patients before doctors step in.

The one significant challenge in telemedicine software development is “expenses.” Software for the healthcare industry is expensive to develop. The broad range of functionalities required to maintain the high quality of telemedicine software is costly.

Saikat Ghosh, Associate Director of HR and Business, Technource

Telemedicine overcomes access challenges

One major challenge in recent years for the healthcare industry has been providing equal access to healthcare services for people who live in underserved areas. This issue is exacerbated by talent shortages. Many hospitals and clinics don’t have enough staff to fully meet the needs of their current patients, much less to expand access. 

Telemedicine can be a big asset in overcoming this challenge. It allows physicians and PAs to treat patients who don’t have easy access to quality healthcare without needing to travel. This means they have time to help more patients get the services and care they need. 

As physician shortages continue, I see expanded telemedicine services as a crucial piece of the puzzle to improve both the overall health and wellness of patients and the work-life balance of providers by enabling them to provide care more efficiently.

Carlos Da Silva, Physician Assistant, PA Career Hub

Government and regulatory support

In our company, we faced an increased amount of requests to develop healthcare applications with telemedicine support. Some of our clients told us that their governments have recognized the potential benefits of telemedicine and have implemented policies to support its growth. These regulatory changes created a favorable environment for telemedicine businesses to thrive. 

It’s also important to note that standards and protocols continue growing and updating: that includes, among other things, GDPR and HL7. The rise of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring solutions has further highlighted the need for standardized data exchange. HL7 plays a crucial role in facilitating the integration of these solutions into existing healthcare systems.

Nikolay Pivovarov, Delivery Manager, QArea

Final thoughts

Telemedicine is by no means an easy industry to get into, especially without much healthcare experience. However, the potential of telemedicine is too big to be ignored. There is always room for new players with fresh ideas and powerful solutions. Hopefully, the points in this article will inspire you to carve your own path in telemedicine.

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Written by

Inna, Technical Writer at QArea

Inna is a content writer with close to 10 years of experience in creating content for various local and international companies. She is passionate about all things information technology and enjoys making complex concepts easy to understand regardless of the reader’s tech background. In her free time, Inna loves baking, knitting, and taking long walks.

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