The virtual care doctor-patient video consultation industry will grow significantly over the next five years, according to new research from the Dallas-based market research and consulting company, Parks Associates.
Researchers estimate that by 2018, the virtual doctor consulation industry will have revenues of $13.7 billion. Furthermore, 28 percent of households with broadband in America have used some type of virtual care communication tool, which will grow 65 percent over the five-year period, Parks researchers say.
The connected care market will also show explosive growth, Parks says. By 2016, researchers say more than 32 million U.S. consumers will actively track personal health and fitness online or via mobile. U.S. sales of connected wellness and personal health products and services will exceed $8 billion in 2018, it predicts.
“All types of healthcare providers, from hospitals to physicians, need to embrace virtual care to ensure its success,” Harry Wang, director of digital health research at Parks Associates, said in a statement. “Next-generation cloud-based technologies will enable providers to tailor remote care programs to specific populations so they can cost-effectively move patients from an acute-care setting to self-managed behavior.”
The virtual care market has already shown growth in Northern California. Recently, leaders at Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) revealed that the number of virtual "visits" by the provider's patients grew from 4.1 million in 2008 to an estimated 10.5 million in 2013, he said. KPNC predicts that by 2016 virtual visits —including secure e-mail, telephone, and video encounters— will exceed in-person visits in its Northern California system.