Table of Contents
Market Analysis and Case Studies from the Healthcare Industry
•Frost & Sullivan research into video conferencing services identified healthcare as one of the key vertical industries that will drive market growth.
•Video conferencing is transforming the provision of healthcare services. Short- and long-term opportunities exist for conferencing service providers (CSPs) in providing both the infrastructure and endpoints needed for video conferencing.
•Video conferencing comes under a range of telecommunications services called ‘telemedicine’. The terms telehealth, telemedicine, and eHealth are often used to describe the use of telecommunications technology in the provision of healthcare.
•For the purpose of this study the term telemedicine is used and is defined as the use of telecommunications technology to support the delivery of clinical healthcare and health advisory services.
•A sharp rise in video conferencing solutions is expected for patients in their homes.
•Telemedicine is on the healthcare roadmap of most governments, and video conferencing is an important component of at-home care. As a result, access through the public Internet is of increasing importance.
•Price points for video conferencing endpoints have fallen significantly in recent years and this decline is predicted to continue.
•The effect of increased video traffic on hospital networks, especially older ones, is not yet fully known and has become a key consideration for IT managers.
•In this Market Insight, Frost & Sullivan identify the key market trends in video conferencing for healthcare. It will also provide case studies from Europe and around the world from leading vendors in the industry.
The rising interest in video conferencing across the healthcare sector can be seen as a confluence of five factors.
•Rising incidences of chronic disease and an ageing population in Europe have led to increased demand for video conferencing services that enable the elderly and those suffering from chronic conditions to receive treatment from their homes.
•Budgetary pressures on healthcare organisations have prompted examinations of how to alleviate the financial pressures on healthcare institutions. Video conferencing enables more patients to be seen per day and reduces the costs and inconvenience of physicians and patients travelling to or between hospitals.
•Citizens across Europe have come to expect higher standards of healthcare. Healthcare organisations are expected to leverage technology to enhance service provisions where it is economically viable to do so.
•Video conferencing is a key enabler of collaborative working. Healthcare professionals working across hospitals and labs can collaborate to reduce decision-making time, which can be crucial in life and death situations.
•The use of video conferencing is a widely established practice in the education and training of medical professionals. This area is expected to continue to be a key driver of sales of video conferencing infrastructure and endpoints in the healthcare industry.
•Well-developed public infrastructure in Northern European countries enables video to be delivered over the network as a service.
•Infrastructure in Eastern Europe is more regionalised, making nationwide roll-outs more challenging.
•The United Kingdom has hosted some highly successful pilot telemedicine projects and is predicted to be a key growth market.
•The Nordic region has a high spend on healthcare per capita and a dispersed population that can benefit from improved access to healthcare.
•Benelux is a region that has been identified by vendors as ripe for the expansion of telemedicine solutions.
•Infrastructure and endpoints account for the most significant share of overall spending on video conferencing in healthcare. However, there is a growing demand for soft client solutions that patients can access through web browsers from their homes.
•Different regulatory environments at the national and EU level present challenges to providers in terms of service roll-out. Solutions must be tailored to meet the legal requirements of the country they operate in.
•The business models used to deliver telemedicine solutions vary widely across Europe. The role of different stakeholders in each healthcare system is an important consideration when vendors choose a business model to get their services to market; for example, France and the Netherlands have insurance-led healthcare systems.
Key Market Drivers Explained
Reducing admin work and accelerating internal processes is a key advantage of visual communications. Video conferencing is an integral part of organisations’ strategies to boost internal efficiencies.
Video conferencing has a demonstrated ability to reduce travel costs, consulting hours, and the overall amount of time patients spend in care.
As well as saving money, video conferencing improves the quality of the service being delivered. Making the expertise of specialist doctors more widely available, shortening treatment cycles, and enabling collaboration between healthcare professionals are just some of the ways video conferencing enhances the provision of healthcare.
Providing healthcare to citizens in their homes is perhaps the biggest driver for video conferencing in healthcare. It is a priority for most national health organisations in Europe. Mobility is of increasing importance for sustained adoption.
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