A study published by PriceWaterhouseCoopers finds greater adoption of telehealth by developing countries, driven by empowered patients. However, a reluctance to adapt on the part of physicians, along with regulatory obstacles, are slowing acceptance of mHealth in developed nations like the United States.
The 48-page report was prepared from the results of two surveys conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and covering ten countries. It determines that increased access to healthcare for consumers is speeding the adoption of telehealth in developing nations, where it is seen as a new market with exciting possibilities for growth. Meanwhile, providers, and to a lesser extent payers, in already-developed nations are resistant to the idea that patients have more control over their healthcare choices; they also feel that a morass of regulations, complicated technology, and changes to the physician’s workload are major barriers to mHealth. The study notes that only 27 percent of providers encourage the use of telehealth to make patients more active in their own health management, while 13 percent discourage it.
Payers in the U.S. are adapting to the changing landscape in healthcare by adopting new technologies like mHealth and backing measures that allow patients to avoid costly hospital visits in favor of treatment in clinics and their own homes. Effective use of practice management and medical billing software like Lytec, Medisoft, or Allscripts MyWay can aid in minimizing costs and increasing efficiency. Microwize Technology, a leading healthcare IT consultant, can ably assist with all aspects of installation, implementation, and training of these products.