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ATA CEO: 7 Market Trends Shaping the Future of Telemedicine
Date:1/5/2012

the use of private firms of medical specialists to provide other remote clinical consultations.  If a hospital can completely outsource its (non-interventional) radiological services, why not outsource neurology, psychiatry or a host of other clinical services?  A series of small vendors have emerged to provide telehealth consults for stroke care, mental health, hospitalist services, and dermatology.  Some of these firms may be considered competitors to hospital-based telemedicine programs.  Look for mergers and expansions of such enterprises as the market grows.

4. The rise of virtual medical centers

In October, Mercy Hospitals announced that it would build a $90 million virtual care center near its headquarters in Chesterfield, Missouri.  This center will host an array of clinical specialists who will serve patients in outlying centers across the four states in which Mercy operates. On a smaller scale, intensivists at Inova Health System in Virginia are based at corporate office building and provide remote ICU services to 122 ICU beds throughout northern Virginia.  Other health systems are looking closely at these developments and, if proven successful, will start on their own versions.

5. mHealth

Mobile Health (mHealth) is a hot topic and an important addition to the mix of technologies changing the way healthcare is delivered.  However, as many people have acknowledged, the mHealth sphere is full of yet-unproven promises and uncertainty about how to pay for these technologies.  As an industry, we need to address these shortcomings because, undoubtedly, wireless technologies will continue to redefine what we mean by telemedicine.

6. Programs vs. networks

Federal grants have helped to establish about 200 telemedicine programs linking multiple health centers throughout the country.  Almost all these programs are hub-and-spoke models, where a large central hos
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SOURCE American Telemedicine Association
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