Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Impact on Telemedicine, a Physician Perspective

Pages: 51 Published: October 31, 2020 Report Code: GDHCHT203

Telemedicine is the use of electronic communication for the delivery of remote clinical care. It has been recognized as a critical strategy during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to limit the risk of person-to-person transmission of the virus as social distancing has become the norm. It is widely anticipated that COVID-19 may be the tipping point for telemedicine as the full potential of the technology is increasingly realized by patients, healthcare systems, and payers. As a result of the pandemic, regulations and policies governing reimbursement and use of telemedicine have changed significantly, leading to expanded access and an unprecedented demand for these services.

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This case study assesses physician perceptions on telemedicine usage before and during the COVID-19 outbreak in the US, 5EU (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK), and Japan, as well as expected use of telemedicine post-COVID-19. The case study combines information obtained from secondary sources and primary research with specialists and physicians from different therapy areas (oncology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, cardiology, and infectious disease).

Scope

This case study contains the following:

An overview of telemedicine, including benefits and barriers

A review of the telemedicine sector in the US, Europe, and Japan before the pandemic, including poll data

A review of the telemedicine sector in the US, Europe, and Japan during the pandemic, including poll data

A review of the telemedicine sector post COVID-19, including poll data

Key Highlights

The adoption of telemedicine had been increasing before the COVID-19 crisis, but the uptake was still low: Physicians from the European Union (EU) were leading users of telemedicine solutions pre-COVID-19 (72%), which can be attributed to the EU’s attempts to enhance the digitization of its healthcare sectors from 2018. In line with the regulatory landscape, Japanese respondents reported the lowest levels of telemedicine usage pre-COVID-19 (42%). Until 2015, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) had restricted the use of telemedicine solutions except for patients with chronic diseases in remote areas in the country.

Use of telemedicine gained momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic when social distancing became the norm: Telemedicine has been recognized as a critical strategy during the COVID-19 emergency to limit the risk of person-to-person transmission, in turn triggering policymakers in many countries to relax regulations to facilitate widespread usage and adoption of telemedicine. Despite easing of restrictions in Japan, over 50% of respondents reported their use of telemedicine had remained unchanged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas in the US and EU, over 75% of respondents increased use of the technology.

Telemedicine has the potential to significantly improve delivery of healthcare post-COVID-19: Telemedicine has a potential to address ongoing issues faced by healthcare systems worldwide. These include workforce shortages, an aging society, accessing affordable care, and increased healthcare spending. While only 47% of US physicians were using telemedicine pre-COVID-19, 76% were positive that their usage would continue after the crisis ended. This may suggest that at the time of survey fielding, physicians were optimistic about temporary telemedicine flexibilities being made permanent in the US.

Reasons to Buy

Get an overview of the changing telemedicine regulatory landscapes in the US, Europe, and Japan.

See how physician use of telemedicine has changed in these regions as a result of the pandemic.

See how physician use of telemedicine is expected to change in the future in these regions.

Table of Contents

Summary

Telemedicine Overview

• What Is Telemedicine?

• What Are the Different Types of Telemedicine?

• What Are the Benefits of Telemedicine?

• What Are the Common Barriers to Telemedicine?

Telemedicine Sector in the US, Europe, and Japan Before COVID-19

• In the US, Pre-Pandemic Use of Telemedicine Was Rising But Remained Low Overall

• In Europe, the UK Was the Most Established 5EU Market for Telemedicine Before COVID-19

• Use of Telemedicine Is Still at the Infancy Stage in Japan

• Telemedicine Sector Before COVID-19 – Survey Data

• Telemedicine Sector Before COVID-19 – Survey Data by Region

Telemedicine Sector in the US, Europe, and Japan During COVID-19

• Social Distancing and Lockdown Measures Have Led to a Surge in Telemedicine Use

• The Regulatory Landscape for Telemedicine in the US Has Changed Significantly as a Result of the Pandemic

• Changes to Reimbursement Policies in Some European Countries Have Led to a Surge in Demand for Telemedicine

• Japan Has Introduced New Measures to Ease Telemedicine Restrictions

• Telemedicine Sector During COVID-19 – Survey Data

• Telemedicine Sector During COVID-19 – Survey Data by Region

Telemedicine Sector Post-COVID-19

• The Future of Telemedicine Post-COVID-19

• Telemedicine Sector Post-COVID-19 – Survey Data

Key Takeaways

• Appendix

• Methodology

• Abbreviations

• Bibliography

• Related Reports

• About the Authors

• About GlobalData

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