The National Business Group on Health (NBGH) reports that online doctor visits are set to explode in 2016. Out of 140 large employers surveyed, 48% made telehealth available to their employees this year. In 2016, the number is expected to be over 74%. The telehealth industry is attracting tons of venture capital and is supposed to save American companies $6 billion a year. If you are searching for a solid investment this year, consider the telehealth industry.
Telehealth is set to become an extension of the healthcare system. The industry will serve as a first checkpoint for patients, freeing up scarce physicians for more serious cases. No longer will patients have to wait for their employer or insurance company to get a doctor’s visit approved. Now they can simply have a virtual doctor visit for minor aches and pains or checkups. Online doctor services like American Well, Teladoc, Doctor on Demand, and MD Live offer 15 minute sessions for only $40 of $50, while traditional doctor’s visits can be in the hundreds of dollars or even thousands of dollars.
But telehealth services won’t only help patients save. Employers will also see a significant savings. Telehealth is one of the avenues that will cut costs without increasing employee premiums or cost-sharing. Still diagnostic tools for exams are limited (mostly to webcams), so patients with unknown ailments with serious side effects should see an in-person physician.
Telehealth can be used in many areas of medicine like pediatrics, cardiology, radiology, and psychiatry. The Global Telemedicine Market report states that telehealth holds the most promise for seniors over age 60. Areas of medicine projected to see the most initial growth are in pathology, dermatology, and psychology.
Telemedicine will change the face of healthcare forever, making it more affordable for patients and business owners. If you are a business owner and looking to cut costs, consider implementing a telehealth plan. If you are an entrepreneur searching for the next best investment opportunity there are a number of telemedicine companies seeing investors. To open your online doctor’s merchant account, contact the high risk industries experts at EMB. EMB specializes in creating and maintaining an online doctor merchant account.