E-health is a process of delivering healthcare and health resources by electronic means. It helps healthcare providers and patients to interact with each other with the help of electronic media. It is one of the fastest growing sectors in overall healthcare market. Currently, telemedicine market represents a small percentage of e-health market. Telemedicine is defined as use of telecommunication and information technology to deliver clinical solutions to the patients. It includes use of various applications and services such as smart phones, emails, two-way videos and wireless tools to deliver efficient results. Use of telemedicine helps in improving individual health with the help of electronic media. It also increases accessibility by reducing distance barriers between medical service providers and patients. Various services, such as primary care and specialist referral service, patients monitoring, medical education and healthcare information, are provided with the help of telemedicine. Telemedicine comprises of medical records, medical advices, medical imaging and health informatics. It helps healthcare professionals to diagnose, cure and evaluate patients in remote locations, with the help of telecommunication technology. Telemedicine is dependent on health Information technology for its various applications such as administrative billing, electronic health records and store and forward image transfer software.
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North America and Europe dominate the global telemedicine market. This is due to high acceptance for this technology in these regions. Brazil, Russia, China and India are expected to show high growth rate. This is due to increasing population and rising incidence of chronic diseases, such as chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, diabetes and asthma, in these countries. In addition, increasing cost of healthcare and rising awareness for telemedicine among population in remote areas is also expected to increase the market for telemedicine in the region.
Increasing population, increasing number of chronic diseases and rising cost of healthcare services are some of the key drivers for growth of global telemedicine market. In addition, use of information technology in healthcare delivery is driving the growth of the global telemedicine market. Some of the key factors inhibiting the growth of telemedicine market include lack of skilled and trained professionals in the remote areas, lack of consumer awareness about new technology and its uses.
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Rising number of virtual medical centers and emergence of remote clinical enterprises are some of the trends that have been observed in the global telemedicine market. Shortage of physicians in rural areas is expected to offer new opportunity for growth of telemedicine market. Some of the major companies operating in the telemedicine market are Philips healthcare, AMD Telemedicine, McKesson Ltd., Cardio Net Inc. and GE Healthcare Ltd. Due to the growing potential in emerging countries such as Brazil and Russia, major companies are focussing on expanding their services in these areas.