Telemedicine has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years as more people have access to smart phones and a consistent internet connection. Patients love the convenience of being able to connect with a doctor quickly from the comfort of home.
Last year, 15 million Americans received some kind of remote medical care, and the American Telemedicine Association expects the number of remote doctors visits to increase by 30% in the coming year. Only 15% of physicians surveyed currently use telemedicine, but according to an American Academy of Family Physicians survey, 78% of patients believe that telemedicine would improve their access to care, as well as the quality of the care.
To respond to this patient demand, an increasing number of companies are adding telemedicine access to their list of employee benefits. In 2015, 48% of employers provided telemedicine benefits; in 2016 this increased to 74%. Hospitals are also investing in telemedicine technology; currently 72% of of them incorporate telemedicine into their practice in some form.
Telemedicine carries many of the same benefits for doctors as it does for patients. Because physical proximity to patients is no longer a concern, doctors gain the flexibility to work from home and to tailor their hours to best suit their lifestyles. For many, this can eliminate the need to maintain a separate office and result in significant financial savings. Have a private space and a reliable internet connection? You're ready to join the telemedicine revolution!