A new survey of health IT executives finds a small uptick in the adoption of telemedicine solutions and services, from 54.5% in 2014 to 57.7% in 2015.
The HIMSS Analytics study found 70% of respondents who use telemedicine utilize two-way video, the most commonly used form of telemedicine.
One challenge to the industry identified by the study is defining telemedicine, which was recognized by survey respondents to include a wide variety of solutions.
The study concludes telemedicine is poised for continued growth given its recent trajectory and the increase in vendors serving the industry, which rose from 69 in 2014 to 85 in 2015. At the same time, organizations are still trying to optimize the use of current and emerging solutions.
It adds organizations are typically driven to adopt telemedicine technologies to fill gaps in patient care, and the five-year outlook indicates a need for provider organizations to leverage telemedicine to increase their offerings and improve real-time communication across organizations.
"There was a somewhat sizeable uptick in organizations wanting the ability to offer care services that they don't necessarily have, such as being able to offer specialty services. That was top of mind moving forward," HIMSS Analytics Research Director Brendan FitzGerald told FierceHealthIT. "Future goals for the technology ... [are to] to develop a service that really tries to increase access and integrates healthcare across rural areas."