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.


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).


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


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


Can be used by individual purchaser only


Can be shared globally by unlimited users within the purchasing corporation e.g. all employees of a single company

Get in touch to find out about our multi-purchase discounts
Tel +44 (0) 20 7947 2960

Every customer’s requirement is unique. We understand that and can customize the report basis your exact research requirements pertaining to market insights, innovation insights, strategy and planning, and competitive intelligence. You can also avail the option of purchasing stand-alone sections of the report or request for a country specific report.

Still undecided about purchasing this report?

Enquire Before Buying

Request a Free Sample


“The GlobalData platform is our go-to tool for intelligence services. GlobalData provides an easy way to access comprehensive intelligence data around multiple sectors, which essentially makes it a one-for-all intelligence platform, for tendering and approaching customers.

GlobalData is very customer orientated, with a high degree of personalised services, which benefits everyday use. The highly detailed project intelligence and forecast reports can be utilised across multiple departments and workflow scopes, from operational to strategic level, and often support strategic decisions. GlobalData Analytics and visualisation solutions has contributed positively when preparing management presentations and strategic papers.”

Business Intelligence & Marketing Manager, SAL Heavy Lift

“COVID-19 has caused significant interference to our business and the COVID-19 intelligence from GlobalData has helped us reach better decisions around strategy. These two highlights have helped enormously to understand the projections into the future concerning our business units, we also utilise the project database to source new projects for Liebherr-Werk to use as an additional source to pitch for new business.”

Market Analyst & Management, Liebherr-Werk

Your daily news has saved me a lot of time and keeps me up-to-date with what is happening in the market, I like that you almost always have a link to the source origin. We also use your market data in our Strategic Business Process to support our business decisions. By having everything in one place on the Intelligence Center it has saved me a lot of time versus looking on different sources, the alert function also helps with this.

Head of Key Accounts, Saab AB

Having used several other market research companies, I find that GlobalData manages to provide that ‘difficult-to-get’ market data that others can’t, as well as very diverse and complete consumer surveys.

Marketing Intelligence Manager, Portugal Foods