Telehealth in the United States is entering a new phase of accelerating growth. Indicators of this next phase include: FDA approval of remote diagnostic tools; the rapid evolution of telehealth platforms focused on managing chronic conditions as well as achieving specific patient outcomes; the expansion of telehealth services offered by private and government operated healthcare systems (such as the Veterans Administration); and a new direct-to-consumer initiative by Samsung and American Well.
However, the telehealth industry is still young. In many ways, today’s telehealth industry is comparable to the Internet services industry, when the reigning speed of Internet access was 56.6 kbps. As far higher broadband speeds became the norm, entire industries were upended. Similarly, as the telehealth industry matures, healthcare delivery across our nation will experience disruptive shifts.
This article explores how telehealth will change the delivery of healthcare in the United States, and its impact on the organization of many activities now provided by local hospitals and health systems throughout the nation.