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Roadblocks in the way of a remote healthcare system

The sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has surged the demand for remote healthcare and telemedicine systems. People across the globe are advised to stay at home and go out when extremely necessary. In such severe circumstances, people observe difficulties in regular check-ups and receive their medicines on time. Remote healthcare has always been a boon in such difficult times. However, there are numerous challenges blocking the path for the industry. 

Teladoc Health, Inc. acquired  InTouch Health, the leading provider of telehealth solutions, in 2020.

Shortage of qualified workers 

The shortage of qualified health care professionals is a major challenge for the industry. Moreover, the numbers are decreasing rapidly. World Health Organisation estimates that there will be an estimated decline of around 12.9 million health workers globally by 2035.  

The lack of resources in the rural areas

The unequal resource distribution in urban and rural areas is a critical issue that needs to be addressed. Rural and isolated areas witness the unavailability of efficient healthcare. In addition, they also register higher mortality rates and lower life expectancy. Such a gap needs to be addressed to establish remote healthcare infrastructure. 

The increasing number of chronic health problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and lifestyle factors such as lower salaries, aging populations, and smoking are increasing the demand for efficient healthcare infrastructure. Moreover, people residing in distant areas have higher health demands, and their access to health services is limited. Thus, it is blocking the way for remote healthcare infrastructure. 

Poor network connection

Poor network connection is the one significant factor restricting the demand for remote healthcare. It is considered a significant solution at the time of emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the unavailability of effective connections is limiting the new era. Small clinics and nursing homes cannot afford to establish high broadband services, which is a key challenge here. In addition, the geriatric population and uneducated people are mostly unaware of the perks of technology. Thus, it becomes difficult for them to use mobile phones and laptops to get proper treatment. 

Ineffective management, incentives, and communication

Inconsistent and inadequate management approaches worsen the issues. The implementation of remote healthcare is being hampered by a lack of incentives and extrinsic rewards to retain employees in difficult circumstances. Furthermore, there are distinctions in income and incentives for different health professionals. Moreover, a lack of management skills in terms of leadership, communication, and distance management is limiting the adoption of remote healthcare. Furthermore, employees are unable to choose this due to inflexible work schedules. Thus, such obstacles need to be removed.

Despite many obstacles, the future of the remote healthcare industry is bright. The demand for remote healthcare is rising and will rise in the coming years. Astute Analytica estimate that the global remote healthcare market will register healthy growth by growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 20% during the forecast period from 2021 to 2027. 

Recognizing the scope of the industry, Latvian healthtech startup UPOlife launched a remote health monitoring solution intending to help healthcare professionals in tackling cardiovascular diseases in Europe. Moreover, Veradigm® and Lash Group, a patient support services business, signed a pact in May 2021. 

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