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Regulatory and market-driven factors affecting the implementation of telemedicine

John P. Benson (john@verisys.com) is co-founder and CEO, Verisys Corporation in Alexandria, VA.

At the beginning of the year, some folks like to make predictions and then track prior predictions to assess their accuracy. Predictions in healthcare are generally straightforward, because change happens at a glacial pace, which makes being a futurist in healthcare an easy job. For instance, the American Journal of Medicine predicted the following in 2014: “Our estimate is that 25 percent to 50 percent of all transactions in the healthcare industry will be electronically outsourced by 2020. Twenty-five percent of all patient encounters with healthcare professionals could be by mobile health, using smartphones or smart wrist watches.”[1]

Roll forward to today. The consumers are driving the movement with a saturation of personal data-gathering devices that can feed secure real-time or asynchronous platforms to the largest independent telemedicine providers. We are there, gathering data on wrists and in pockets, and the tailwinds are positive from an innovation perspective, but we still have a ways to go. There remain key legislative barriers.

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