How will video communication solve the world’s health care challenges?

It's hard to believe that at one time, it was common for doctors to travel from house to house treating patients in the comfort of their homes. These days, house calls are all but forgotten, and even finding a family clinic that's accepting new patients can be a challenge.

With the rapidly escalating global population and the ever-expanding list of medical problems, the demand for healthcare simply outweighs the supply and medical practitioners. This issue has placed huge pressures on tech developers to come up with a viable channel for physician and patient communication. IT giants Cisco, Polycom and LifeSize have answered this call by leading the telemedicine movement with the Global Video Conferencing in Healthcare Market.

Early reports of the healthcare world's adoption of video communication have been exceedingly optimistic and the market is expected to rise at a CAGR of 18.06 percent during the 2012-2016 period, nearing the US$ 2 billion mark in terms of revenue.

Some of this growth will be dependent on vendors’ ability to overcome a few key challenges, however. Particularly the following:
#1. Unavailability of Reliable Internet Connection
#2. Need for High Bandwidth

Both of these issues are made especially impactful by the fact that one of the market's main drivers: the need for healthcare facilities in rural areas. Video conferencing and telemedicine play a vital role in helping out of town patients who don’t have close access to hospitals or clinics, yet these are also the most likely to lack internet connectivity and IT data infrastructures.

Vendors are hopeful that the growing availability of cloud services will offset this problem. By using cloud-based platforms, enterprise video providers are introducing the concept of video communication as a service for end-users. In this, the service providers locate the communication system on their behalf. Each participant is required to send the request to the server and as the server accepts the request, the streaming of the video is initiated. This provides the end-users with low investment, fewer technical requirements, and less bandwidth requirement.

For now, a few other trends are expected to keep the market for healthcare video conferencing moving upwards, including:

  •  Use of video communication for medical education
  •  Integration of social networking
  •  Evolution of high-definition video

Ultimately, the inevitable success of the Global Video Conferencing in Healthcare Market is hard to debate. Yes, it will be hard for the market to reach it's full potential until the issue of rural availability is addressed, but still-the advantages of video communication in other healthcare sectors will surely be enough to keep the industry growing in the meantime.

For more information, see our 2012-2016 report on the Global Video Conferencing in Healthcare Market.