Tele-consultation services in the health care sector are referred to as the provision of virtual consultation by a health care provider to a patient via different modes of communication. A patient suffering from illness or chronic disease consults a health care provider remotely through an audio-visual communication setup. Tele-consultation services are offered by various health care facilities, with an aim to increase patient base and attract more health care providers in their network offering virtual consultation for the diagnosis or treatment of patients. Tele-consultation services include all types of virtual consultation such as assistance in a surgical procedure by a health care provider and diagnosis of a patient’s condition. This has led to easier access to health care for patients in cases of general illness and emergency situations and a reduction in overall health care costs.
Rise in adoption of tele-health and tele-medicine services globally, including emerging countries, has led to an increase in preference for tele-consultation services. Hospitals and other health care facilities are facing a significant burden of health care costs associated with consultation and waiting times and increased patient flow for consultation and diagnosis. These health care facilities are now focusing on incorporation of tele-consultation services, with an aim to reduce costs associated with health care and improve efficiencies in core competencies. Moreover, health care facilities are focusing on attracting global customers and not limiting their customer base to a local geographic area by offering tele-consultation services. This has led to an increase in the number of patients leveraging tele-consultation services, thus driving demand for these services worldwide. However, lack of adequate health care infrastructure in emerging countries and high cost of installation of communication equipment for tele-consultation services are some of the major factors deterring health care facilities from incorporating these services. This is likely to restrain the global tele-consultation services market in the coming years.
The global tele-consultation services market can be segmented based on service, application, end-user, and geography. Based on service, the global tele-consultation services market can be classified into audio tele-consultation services and video tele-consultation services. The audio tele-consultation services segment dominated the global market in 2017. Comparatively low cost of installation and maintenance of audio tele-consultation services and user friendly access for patients are some of the factors responsible for the higher preference for audio tele-consultation services by health care facilities. This led to a higher share of the segment in the global market in 2017. However, the video tele-consultation services segment is projected to expand at a comparatively higher CAGR from 2018 to 2026. In terms of application, the global tele-consultation services market can be classified into oncology, cardiology, hematology, neurology, gynecology, radiology, and others. Rise in applications of tele-consultation services in the cardiology segment and increase in incidence of cardiovascular diseases are fuelling the cardiology segment of the global market. Based on end-user, the global tele-consultation services market can be categorized into hospitals, ambulatory care centers, diagnostic centers, specialty clinics, and others.
In terms of geography, the global tele-consultation services market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America dominated the global tele-consultation services market in 2017 and is projected to continue its dominance from 2018 to 2026. Improving reimbursement policies and expanding health care insurance coverage among primary health care providers in the U.S. and Canada are projected to drive the robust growth in tele-consultations in the U.S. This is projected to propel the tele-consultation services market in the region during the forecast period. A booming digital health care industry in the emerging countries of Asia Pacific, such as China and India, is anticipated to provide significant opportunities for tele-consultation services in these countries. This is anticipated to fuel the comparatively higher growth of the market in Asia Pacific in the near future.
Key players operating in the global tele-consultation services market are Doctor on Demand, Inc., Teladoc, Inc., SnapMD, Inc., Avizia, Inc., MDLIVE, Inc., HealthTap, Inc., Video Medicine, Inc., and CareClix Telemedicine.
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