Full access to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

How Entrepreneurs Can Leverage Telemedicine Post-Covid-19

The pandemic and lockdown brought lots of changes to business owners in various industries.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The pandemic and lockdown brought lots of changes to business owners in various industries. While many businesses became redundant, many opportunities sprang up and are still springing up all over. And it’s up to the person who has eyes for spotting these opportunities (entrepreneurs) that can fully exploit this situation.

Marko Geber | Getty Images

Everyone is trying to reduce their exposure to the Covid-19; many health departments have adopted the telemedicine model, which is simply the remote delivery of healthcare services. And according to Vsee, telemedicine lets doctors and their patients communicate and share information virtually.

The benefits of telemedicine

There are several benefits of telemedicine for patients and doctors. Telemedicine benefits for the patients include lower cost, improved access to healthcare, convenience, and preventive care. Some of their services include reduced overhead expenses, less exposure to infections, enhanced patient satisfaction, and better doctors’ treatment.

Related: 32 Proven Ways to Make Money Fast

With the lockdown, many patients and health institutions got to taste telemedicine, and it has been on the rise since. In a study done by the Head of Ericsson’s ConsumerLab, Singh Sethi, he said, “Telemedicine will continue its big boom post-COVID.” Singh said only 12 percent of consumers were even aware of telemedicine as an option. But in his post-COVID survey, he found that 60 percent of respondents believe online health consultations “will be more popular than physical visits to the doctor.” “A third of the consumers in India and China in his study were doing health consultations online,” he said.

What does this say for entrepreneurs and anyone looking to invest in this market? More people will opt for telemedicine because of its many benefits. And more people means more money to be made.

Related: 10 Ways to Make Money During the Pandemic

Currently, publicly-traded telemedicine companies are experiencing massive growth. Hospitals are seeing an increased number of virtual visits over in-person visits since the pandemic. Many online doctor services are springing up every day. And we’re just in the beginning stages. Market Research Future; a firm that predicts business trends, expects the American telemedicine market to grow by more than 16 percent annually from 2017 to 2023

According to CNBC, there were barriers around the full implementation of telemedicine. They talked about cost, availability, and relationships. Still, with Trump talking about its benefits and reducing costs through Medicare and Medicaid because of the pandemic, everyone has taken it as the best option, and it’s clear that telemedicine is the future.

Now the problem is not in people embracing it because they have; it’s for more providers to be available for the increased demand. Forrester analyst Arielle Trzcinski said, “They see high demand, they’re not necessarily able to provide the supply necessary, and so we see long wait times ... to try and get to a provider..”

The solution to this problem is simple. More entrepreneurs who can invest in telemedicine to match the demand. Presently, many companies in the health sector are bolstering their offerings to eat from the telemedicine cake.

So, how can entrepreneurs leverage telemedicine?

The primary catalyst for telemedicine is 5G. Without a quick connection speed like 5G, it will be challenging to offer healthcare services remotely. Doctors and patients need fast internet speed to connect with patients in rural areas through their mobile devices. 

And not everyone has access to these 5G connections, especially people in rural areas. So, telecommunication companies are looking to expand their coverage in these locations to serve their customers better. When this is done, according to AT&T, we’ll witness quick data transmission and improved real-time remote monitoring. 

Related: 10 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep

We’re already seeing some health companies doing impressive work around telemedicine. Among the best online doctor services, there’s Teladoc, who are at the forefront of the telemedicine movement with their straightforward service. They connect their doctors with patients within 15 minutes through phone calls, video conferencing, or mobile apps. Their services range from sexual health consultation, mental health consultation, dermatological conditions, and non-emergency medical issues. They can also send prescriptions to pharmacies close to you or analyze your lab results.

According to them, 92% of their clients have their medical issues addressed in a single call, eliminating the need for additional appointments and follow-ups for most users.

The Internet of Things

Another area to look at is IoT. Especially in real-time monitoring. At times, doctors need to get their patient’s details at every point, and the patients would need to put on these IoT gadgets to make collecting data accessible. With the integration of IoT, we’ll have a faster diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases. 

When the patients wear these IoT gadgets, doctors can monitor how they develop through the caregiving process. 

Livongo founder and Executive Chairman Glen Tullman predicted that hospitals would increasingly start separating patients they need to see in-person versus those they can treat remotely. Services that provide home monitoring are taking off, he said, because they help medical teams determine whether an issue is urgent. For example, the company is now pulling data from more than 20,000 blood pressure checks per hour.

Telemedicine is attracting many investors. And it’s rightfully done because it’s a new era. Studies show that 56% of healthcare executives say they have already implemented telemedicine in their organization. Another 24% are currently looking for telemedicine solutions, and 20% are just starting to learn about telehealth and explore their options. And budgets keep increasing yearly.

So, as an entrepreneur, to leverage telemedicine post-COVID-19, you have to act now. Whether you’re investing in publicly traded telemedicine companies stocks or you want to build a business around telemedicine. You should work now while it’s still in the early stages.

James Jorner

Written By

James Jorner is a digital marketer and social media advocate who aims to help businesses identify, connect, and engage their audience through digital media channels. He's the head of digital at Effective Inbound Marketing.