By Risha Tyagi, Senior Account Executive – RPG San Francisco

Healthcare has always been a booming industry in the U.S. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), forecasts national health spending to grow at more than 5% annually and reach nearly $6 trillion by 2027. This is attributable to a number of factors, including an aging population, along with a consistent hike in prices for goods and services.

With the onset of COVID-19, however, there’s been a healthcare spending boom in the first quarter of 2020. Healthcare institutions are spending significantly in their race to curb the pandemic, as insurance coverage expands and government spending accelerates adoption of health technology solutions.

Telehealth and the Media

Telehealth or telemedicine services (also known as virtual healthcare interactions), are clearly having a moment. Improved access to healthcare has been critical during a time when patients are being asked to avoid unnecessary trips to their doctor or local hospital. While telemedicine is far from new (it’s been around in various forms for well over a decade), its adoption had previously been relatively slow, representing a small sliver of the overall healthcare pie. 

Broader adoption of telehealth solutions has also been reflected in media conversation during the pandemic. We looked at media coverage trends over the past year, through pre- and post-pandemic periods, to get a sense of the growth of media interest in telehealth.

While high-level healthcare trends have remained steady throughout the year, telehealth and telemedicine dominated COVID-19 healthcare media coverage (see chart below). In the six months preceding the arrival of the Coronavirus, telehealth was simply a minor piece of the healthcare conversation, but since the start of the year, telehealth has seen an incredible boom in mentions, posting a robust 260% increase.

Telehealth’s Moment

During the lockdown, telehealth has proven its value and its adoption has been encouraged. CMS lifted federal restrictions, further promoting its use to overcome the barriers of traditional health services. 

New research from Frost & Sullivan (“Telehealth: A Technology-Based Weapon in the War Against the Coronavirus”), predicts that the pandemic will reshape care delivery, as evaluating patients remotely and tracking their progress has been proven effective. Related, Sermo’s COVID-19 HCP Sentiment Survey confirmed that 90% of physicians report that they are treating patients remotely.

Technology has always played the role of chief catalyst in advancing the field of healthcare. While telehealth technologies were invented in order to enable medical professionals to remotely diagnose and monitor patients, it is clear that necessity, in this case, is the mother of adoption. The COVID-19 war is far from over but the widespread adoption and use of telehealth technology has proven to be a vital way to improve outcomes in the face of a very challenging situation.

Telehealth Increase

About the Authors

Risha Tyagi

As a senior account executive at Racepoint’s San Francisco office, Risha Tyagi works with B2B and B2C technology companies of all sizes that focus on a variety of niche spaces such as semiconductor, fintech, telecommunications, and agriculture. She manages a wide range of PR activities, including media and analyst relations (developing outreach strategies to promote thought leaders), writing/editing byline articles, as well as running speaking, award, and social media programs. Risha is passionate about telling the right story to the right audience (in English, Hindi and/or Mandarin!) and brings a powerful combination of educational and professional experience from diverse countries.