Telemedicine has played a considerable role in healthcare, especially during the last several years. As the world becomes more reliant on (and comfortable with) technology, more providers are offering telemedicine options, and patients are increasingly embracing its use. But, like all things related to medicine and technology, virtual care is expected to evolve. Below we take a deeper dive into the 2023 predictions for telemedicine.
Telemedicine will become easier to use
Telemedicine partners are always looking for ways to make the technology more effortless to use, and in 2023, more actions and funding will go toward this initiative. Furthermore, training for telemedicine is vastly improving, as virtual care has shown its worth, and organizations such as the AAACN developed standards for telehealth nursing. Many colleges now offer advanced degrees that cover medical technology, and more educational organizations are expected to add programs this year.
Virtual care will be easier to access
Fast internet speed is key when it comes to implementing a successful telemedicine program; however, just a few years ago, only 72% of residents in rural areas had access to proper internet speeds. The good news is that the federal government is allocating billions of dollars to improve broadband access in rural areas while making it more affordable.
Telemedicine will reach more underserved communities
With internet infrastructure improving, it is expected that more underserved communities will have vital virtual care alternatives as more rural hospitals continue to close their doors. Telemedicine will further decrease barriers to care by enabling patients to see doctors faster, get the care they need in emergencies, access mental health support, and improve disease prevention.
The provider shortage will continue
Research indicates that the country will need 275,000 nurses this decade to make up for the provider shortage, while it is estimated that 18% of healthcare workers have left their jobs over the last two years, and 31% have considered leaving. Telemedicine programs have already helped alleviate some of these shortages and will increasingly do so in the coming year.
Virtual behavioral health treatments will increase
Data indicates that mental health issues have steadily grown over the last decade; however, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 25 million Americans live in areas where there aren't enough providers to meet demand. With evidence from the American Psychiatric Association suggesting that online therapy produces promising results and patient satisfaction, telemedicine and telepsychiatry are predicted to increase in use.
More practices will adopt a hybrid care model
Over the last several years as telehealth adoption has skyrocketed, many patients and providers are seeing the benefits of both being online and in person. In 2023, more physicians will start incorporating hybrid care models into their practices, bringing in virtual specialists or other providers that can fill in coverage gaps in order to provide the best care to their community.
Telemedicine will see an upsurge in funding
In 2023, it is expected that investors will continue to supply more capital to the digital healthcare industry. Telemedicine companies have steadily received an increase in funding since 2015, but the combination of the pandemic and the development of technology have further expanded investments from both private organizations and the government.
The government will continue to pay attention to telemedicine
Telehealth was included in the health care provisions in the federal government’s $1.7 trillion budget for 2023, which extended telehealth flexibilities until Dec. 31, 2024. As virtual healthcare has proven to be a valued option for millions of patients, lawmakers will no doubt continue to look at permanent legislation on the state and federal levels.
Moving into 2023, and beyond
Virtual care is here to stay, and grow, for the foreseeable future. At VirtualMed, we set ourselves apart by utilizing your existing technology for full integration into your processes, along with technical and physician support when needed. Discover the difference today.
If you'd like a custom telemedicine solution for your hospital, get started with a consultation today!