This week I am speaking at the International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics about global health it. When we discuss global impact, we have to understand the world’s population is growing exponentially, and estimates have the global population reaching 9 billion by 2050. Today, of the billions on earth, an estimated 1.3 billion people lack access to affordable healthcare and account for the majority of the world’s disease burden. This is obviously a global problem stemming from a multitude of factors. However, tackling the issue of access is a crucial step to making meaningful progress toward quality, accessible healthcare.
Governments around the world have been seeking a public sector solution that combines innovative technology with efficiency and affordability. However, the developmental and infrastructural challenges have prevented this problem from being solved locally, even where financial resources are available to solve the problem.
Healthcare development has stalled in many parts of the world, and it is time for a powerful tech-based solution to accelerate it into the 21st century. The solution will include telemedicine and health it. Telemedicine, which is a functionality delivered through information and communication technologies (ICT),is used for the exchange of medical information to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telehealth refers to a broader scope of remote healthcare services than telemedicine, including remote non-clinical services, such as provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education, in addition to clinical services.
In my paper, Global TeleHealth IT Integration, Logistics, and Managed Services: The Keys to Sustainability, I propose a telemedicine solution is ideal precisely because it adopts a comprehensive approach. During the conference, I am presenting on how the growth of the global telemedicine market is not only driven by demand for medical care, better broadband coverage, and growing global wealth, but also by increasing awareness of the types, quality and cost of medical care in other cities, states and countries. As infrastructure catches up with demand, the global telemedicine market is on track to surpass $27 billion in revenues this year alone.
The most valuable assets available in the global telemedicine market are the multi-specialty physician networks and their internally developed knowledge process outsourcing technology and service platform (“KPO”)1. Telemedicine relies on these core assets, namely the USA (and Western) physician network and the KPO services platform to expand services to those in areas where the digital divide is still very much a reality. Here are four delivery channels that should be considered for expanding KPO across the globe:
- Standalone multi-specialty virtual clinics built with medical telepods and staffed with a local physician and nurses. Clinics will be set up via a franchise model in the top cities in the developing world.
- Kiosks and booths providing on-demand access to physicians.
- Tablets and peripheral devices designed for portable healthcare access where personnel can work with remote physicians to provide immediate medical care to an ailing patient.
- Smartphone apps that integrate with the other delivery channels and provide trusted information on medical centers worldwide.
When you marry the value of healthcare with strong delivery tools, you can create a rapidly growing, self-sustaining, profitable telemedicine market that provides a premier experience in medical services to patients across the globe.