future of telehealth

Portable communication technologies like smartphones and laptops have made it easier for us to communicate with anyone at any time. As a result, the healthcare industry has drastically transformed in the last few years to help patients and medical providers communicate more effectively and efficiently, improving medical outcomes and prioritizing patients who need more specialized care. 

Now, medical providers can use telecommunications technology to diagnose and treat patients from the comfort of their own homes. However, the telehealth industry is expected to evolve as the years pass. Here are a few trends and developments in telehealth to watch for:

Widespread Acceptance

While more people are using telehealth than before, acceptance has yet to be considered widespread. Many hospitals and clinics still need more infrastructure to implement remote patient monitoring and conferencing options. However, technology has expanded, leading to more effective and robust healthcare visits. Doctors and healthcare facilities aren’t the only ones becoming more accepting of telehealth. Insurance carriers have started to include telehealth services in their benefits packages.

Telehealth for Pets

Humans aren’t the only ones who can benefit from telehealth. Telemedicine for pets is becoming increasingly popular, especially for individuals who don’t have access to a vet. But, of course, like human telemedicine, there are some things telehealth for pets can’t do. For example, your dog needs vaccinations every few years and physical exams yearly, which may consist of fecal examinations, blood tests, and urinalysis. In addition, while pet telemedicine can’t do lab testing through a computer, vets can diagnose and treat various illnesses and behavioral problems in pets, such as anxiety, diarrhea, ear infections, and allergies. 

Telemedicine for pets frees vet time to focus on more severe and emergency cases. As you may know, there’s currently a vet shortage because the job is stressful and taxing; ultimately, there aren’t enough vets, which means your local vet is working harder than ever to help dogs and cats in the area. However, telemedicine allows them to save time on basic health needs, such as follow-up visits, to focus on more emergency cases. 

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an essential part of telehealth. Doctors use AI to provide administrative support and create diagnostic tests, allowing AI equipment to be operated by triage nurses instead of physicians. 

AI is also used to help keep records and sort through essential information. For example, doctors can electronically send medical providers patient records to review extensive information and make the correct diagnosis. 

Availability of Clinical Services

Telehealth isn’t only for individuals who need to see a physician, and it’s not a new concept. For example, a poison hotline you might call if you consume something that might cause a reaction is a telehealth service. In addition to providing emergency advice, telehealth has expanded into other medical fields, including the following:

  • Mental health: Mental health services require regular conversations with a mental health provider, including diagnosing and treating various mental health issues and therapy. Counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers can offer telehealth services, and many patients may feel more comfortable having these conversations at home. 
  • Doctors: Regular doctor’s visits no longer require a drive to an office unless you need lab testing. Many patients prefer telehealth services because they’re more convenient. Doctors can diagnose various non-life-threatening conditions remotely, including the flu, allowing patients to get care without leaving the house when they’re not feeling well. 
  • Specialist consultations: Depending on your health issue, your doctor might suggest meeting with a specialist. Luckily, you can have a virtual consultation with these specialists to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan. 
  • Health monitoring: Patients who have already been diagnosed can use health condition monitoring technology to analyze their health and send data to their doctor. With wearable technology, patients have more visibility into their health and can discuss issues and concerns with doctors via video chat.

Expanded Insurance Coverage

Telehealth services have become increasingly popular among patients, and more insurance providers are taking notice. In the past, insurance typically didn’t cover any telehealth services, so patients would have to pay out of pocket. However, now, you can find insurance that covers more telehealth services. 

Of course, every state has insurance laws, so some patients may pay out of pocket before being reimbursed for a portion of their services. 


Unfortunately, while telehealth aims to improve accessibility for everyone, especially those that don’t have access to doctors, these services have been difficult for rural areas. Unfortunately, many rural facilities lack the broadband access necessary to use telehealth to help patients. Meanwhile, patients themselves may not have the technology required to communicate with physicians, such as home or personal computers. 

The government has taken notice and has a plan to solve this issue for many communities in the US, including the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which included $65 million set aside for broadband investments for underserved communities to give them access to virtual care. 

Addressing Provider Shortages

Experts expect a provider shortage, including primary and specialty care providers, within the next ten years. Fewer physicians and the same amount of patients could be dangerous because it means leaving some without the primary care they need as professionals prioritize patient care. Telehealth can solve this provider shortage, especially for facilities with a limited workforce. 

VR/AR Applications

VR technology can help doctors and patients. Physicians, especially surgeons, already use virtual reality in their training, but it can also be used to help plan medical procedures. With VR and AR, healthcare providers can visualize the human body, making it no longer necessary to dissect cadavers in med school. Even outside of the educational environment, physicians can use VR and AR to practice treatment methods, especially surgery, beforehand. 

The Growth of Telehealth

Telehealth will only become more widespread over the next few years, especially as facilities face a provider shortage and patients call for more affordable and convenient care. Telemedicine can free up physicians’ time to focus on more emergency cases while allowing patients to get the care they need from the comfort of their homes. 

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod is an Editor of Appclonescript.com, who is passionate for app-based startup solutions and on-demand business ideas. He believes in spreading tech trends. He is an avid reader and loves thinking out of the box to promote new technologies.