Posted: February 23, 2021
Over the past few years, an increasing number of people have turned to telehealth to connect with their provider. Telehealth enables providers to evaluate, diagnose, and treat a wide range of acute and chronic conditions without having to come into direct contact with patients. This has proven especially beneficial during the pandemic, as providers look for ways to prevent the spread of disease.
The use of telehealth has grown by leaps and bounds since the start of the pandemic. Mercom Capital Group, a nationally recognized integrated research, communications, and media firm, recently published a report on 2020s digital health funding. Mercom found that in 2020, $14.8 billion in equity was raised for digital health across 637 deals. An additional $6.5 billion in debt and public market financing was raised across 26 deals. This equals almost two deals each day throughout 2020.
Mercom’s report provides valuable insight into the specific areas that received additional funding from investors. Of the $14.8 billion, $4.3 billion went to pure-play telemedicine companies. This is up 139% from 2019. In addition to investments, 184 mergers and acquisitions occurred in 2020. These are expected to continue throughout much of 2021.
Following telemedicine, investments in data analytics startups totaled $1.8 billion, investments in mobile health apps equaled $1.4 billion, clinical decision support tool investments totaled $1.2 billion, investments in practice management solutions equaled $837 million, and wearable sensor investments totaled $8.15 million.
Although digital health funding has grown steadily in recent years, it’s believed that COVID-19 played a significant role in last year’s funding activities. Throughout the year, most providers adopted some form of telehealth solution. As patients have become accustomed to virtual care, demand for telehealth services has grown. What used to be considered a novelty is now required. Providers that do not adopt telehealth will soon find it difficult to attract and retain new clients.
Over the past year, an increasing number of insurance carriers have improved coverage for telehealth services including the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS). Although the CMS enacted these changes to ensure coverage during the public health emergency (PHE), it’s expected that telemedicine coverage will become permanent. This is good news for the millions of Americans currently taking advantage of telehealth services.
Telehealth provides significant benefits for both providers and their patients. Using secure video-conferencing software, patients can meet with their doctor without leaving their home or office. In addition to providing a convenient option for giving and receiving care, telehealth allows providers to care for patients in remote and rural areas.
Let’s Talk Interactive provides telehealth solutions for providers across a wide range of industries. In addition to telemedicine software, we offer a variety of telemedicine carts and kiosks. Our telehealth solutions allow providers to see more patients in less time than possible with in-person visits. Please contact us for more information about our telehealth solutions.