Last week it took me 50 minutes—two subway lines and a bus—to get to a follow-up appointment with a specialist. The visit itself lasted just 15 minutes.
It's situations like this that made me jump for joy when I read RNCOS Business Consultancy Services report that predicted an 18.5% annual growth in telehealth worldwide through 2018.
Of course, I realize that the focus telehealth is not on those like me, someone whose only inconvenience is spending unwanted time on public transit. The people who stand to benefit most from telehealth services most are those who live in rural, underserved areas.
Still, the projected growth of telehealth is promising, especially since it has been shown to improve access to and quality of healthcare and to reduce costs.
Mounting support on Capitol Hill may push teleheath even further along. Former South Dakota' senator Thomas Dacshle (D), now a senior policy adviser for a law firm is lobbying for state and federal healthcare laws to address telehealth. Daschle and a coalition of former senators and interested parties, including CVS, Verizon, Walgreens, and WellPoint, are pushing to change regulations governing telehealth.