Most Health Care Organizations Plan to Invest in Telehealth, mHealth

It’s no secret that patient demand for telehealth and mHealth services has grown in recent years, with some patients even factoring the provision of these services into their choice of health care providers. Health care organizations, it would seem, are taking note. As first reported by mHealth Intelligence, a new American Telemedicine Association (ATA) survey of 171 health care executives found that an overwhelming 83 percent of health care organizations have plans to invest in telehealth and mHealth in the next year. Only one percent of respondents had no plans to do so at any point in the future. Said ATA in a press release, “The study reveals that telemedicine executives are overwhelmingly optimistic about the future of the telehealth industry and are planning near-term investments to keep pace with rapid transformation and growth of the industry.”

Unsurprisingly, topping the list of the specific reasons executives cited for investing in telehealth and mHealth was “consumer interest” (about 48 percent). Along similar lines, an overwhelming 98 percent of respondents stated that they believed offering telehealth and mHealth services to patients would increase their “competitive advantage” over other organizations. Other reasons executives offered for their plans to invest included new technological advancements, reduced costs, and the potential of apps. Finally, those surveyed also believed overwhelmingly that the implementation of telehealth and mHealth would “increase their ability to provide patient-centered care.”

The survey also showed that the health care organizations represented are facing many of the same familiar challenges as others in the telehealth industry to more widespread implementation. Among the most frequently cited barriers: reimbursement policies (more than 70 percent), issues relating to provider licensure, “resistance to change” at the organizational level, and liability concerns. But still, those surveyed expressed optimism about telehealth and mHealth, particularly as new advancements continue to be made, including in the areas of interoperability and patient-centered care. And this optimism translates into plans for investment. As ATA CEO Jonathan Linkous summed up, the study “confirms undeniably today’s leaders view telemedicine as a major driver in transforming health care.”

Click here for the article from mHealth Intelligence on the ATA survey findings.

Click here for the full survey from ATA (requires member login).

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