Written by Dr. Joel Warshaw | Published on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Have you begun using telemedicine to conduct patient visits yet? If not, you might benefit from integrating it into your service offerings.  There are several benefits of telemedicine for concierge practices.

According to recent research from IHS Technology, patient adoption of telemedicine will reach 7 million by 2018. Perhaps this isn’t too surprising, if you consider another study which found that 64% of patients would consider meeting with a physician via video conferencing technology.

If you’re not familiar, telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telemedicine includes a growing variety of applications and services using two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools, and other forms of telecommunications technology.

This growing technology allows for the use of live interactive video or the transmission of diagnostic images, vital signs and/or video clips along with patient data for review, such as blood glucose and ECG strips.

Telemedicine has been growing rapidly because it offers considerable benefits to both the patient and the physician. Here are four fundamental benefits that might surprise you:

#1: Improved Access

Not only does telemedicine improve access to patients but it also allows physicians and health facilities to expand their reach, beyond their own offices. Given the provider shortages throughout the world–in both rural and urban areas–telemedicine has a unique capacity to increase service to millions of new patients.

#2: Cost Efficiencies

Reducing or containing the cost of healthcare is one of the most important reasons for funding and adopting telehealth technologies. Telemedicine has been shown to reduce the cost of healthcare and increase efficiency through better management of chronic diseases, shared health professional staffing, reduced travel times, and fewer or shorter hospital stays.

#3: Improved Quality

Studies have consistently shown that the quality of healthcare services delivered via telemedicine are as good as those given in traditional in-person consultations.

#4: Patient Demand

Consumers want telemedicine. The greatest impact of telemedicine is on the patient, their family, and their community. Using telemedicine technologies reduces travel time and related stresses for the patient. Such services offer patients the access to providers that might not be available otherwise, as well as medical services without the need to travel long distances.