According to a recent study by InMedica, the medical division of IMS Research, the demand for video conferencing health services is growing as the technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous. As a result, people are purchasing more at-home medical supplies and video conferencing systems.
The study found that demand for home-use digital blood-glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, weight scales, pulse oximeters and peak flow meters will increase during the next three years as telehealth services grow in popularity.
Telehealth technology, which is conducted using video conferencing systems, allows doctors to see, diagnose and treat patients - without the patients ever needing to head to the hospital. The technology is a boon for people who live in rural areas far from major health centers, as well as for those suffering from ailments which make a trip to the hospital dangerous or impossible.
"Telehealth is mainly used for the management of chronic diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension and diabetes," market analyst Neha Khandelwal told Assembly magazine. "Despite being around for a number of years, home telehealth has not yet evolved into a mainstream application. On the whole, the United States has shown the most development, with a few instances of mainstream services. Some European countries, such as Denmark, England, Germany and Holland, have also witnessed implementation of telehealth projects of varying scope and scale."
In addition to an increase in home medical supplies, the growth of telehealth is also likely to encourage the prevalence of video and web conferencing systems in private homes. In general, video conferencing can be achieved with devices as simple as a computer, a camera and an internet connection, and can be used to conduct business calls and stay in touch with faraway family members, in addition to healthcare.