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Regulatory hurdles risk slowing US telemedicine surge

Monday, May 17, 2021

Significance

Utilisation has fallen as movement restrictions have eased, but it remains far above pre-pandemic levels, implying a secure foothold in mainstream healthcare provision. This could lay the groundwork for a redesign of the fractured and expensive US health system to improve access, quality and affordability. Health-tech firms are attracting record private equity funding.

Impacts

  • Virtual care could expand access to healthcare for underserved urban and rural communities.
  • Digitalisation of healthcare will not bring transformative benefits without reengineering healthcare's workflows and financial incentives.
  • With two in five US residents covered by federal government-funded health programmes, lawmakers can set industry norms for telehealth.
  • App-based health-tech services will drive a convergence of wellbeing and healthcare platforms.

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