Telemedicine Pre and Post Covid-19: Lessons for Commercialisation Based on Previous Use Cases
Telemedicine used to be slow, difficult, expensive and widely neglected by doctors and patients. COVID-19 changed everything; telemedicine is entering a period of rapid economic and business growth. This paper discusses the reasons for change in telemedicine over the last 20 years, through real-life medical technology projects, telemetry, ehealth and health IT. Our methods are based on the analysis of telemedicine projects we have implemented and characteristic historical data. The results of our investigation demonstrate a clear increase of significance in telemedicine in the present and near future. We envision the evolution of mobile phones to personal telehealth monitors. Prior to COVID-19, market penetration and economic factors of telemedicine evolved slowly and in an uneven manner on a global scale. Many of the projects remained active only as long as the grant or corporate or national support was provided. The age of novel globally spreading infectious diseases, exemplified by COVID-19, has created an unusual, different setting. Recent pandemics and epidemics have changed global economics significantly and generated a new motivation and a new market with a projected trillion-dollar market value. Post COVID-19, regular and periodic epidemics and pandemics are expected to continue to occur. This will generate an enormous global market for isolated high-tech services, including telemedicine and telemetry.
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