SOURCE: Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan

March 23, 2011 11:30 ET

Healthcare Sector Enjoys Growing Benefits From Visual Collaboration Services, Notes Frost & Sullivan

LONDON--(Marketwire - March 23, 2011) -  The practice of telemedicine has been undergoing significant evolution paralleled by technological advancements in the world of videoconferencing. These changes open new opportunities for videoconferencing service providers as they continue to address a market that remains highly under penetrated. Hence, healthcare practitioners are increasingly adopting interactive video or videoconferencing applications for providing enhanced access to healthcare as well as improving the quality of such services at lower prices across the globe.

According to the new Frost & Sullivan's analysis on Visual Collaboration Applications in Healthcare, reduced prices and improved quality are boosting the adoption of telemedicine videoconferencing systems.

"The costs of telemedicine videoconferencing systems and transmission service are not a major barrier to their deployments any more," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Iwona Petruczynik. "In the last two years, there has been a significant reduction in prices of equipment and a substantial improvement in endpoint functionality, especially video quality."

Visual collaboration vendors can make an entry in the healthcare market by offering 'off-the-shelf' videoconferencing products. These are cost effective and easier to use options for healthcare professionals, as they are not purchasing dedicated carts, but standard videoconferencing systems.

"This will represent a 'foot in the door' for visual collaboration manufacturers because they are not only familiarising healthcare professionals with videoconferencing, but also introducing their dedicated pieces of equipment," remarks Petruczynik. "Visual collaboration vendors need to add value to certain vertical markets to avoid commoditisation in the increasingly competitive marketplace."

The most significant benefits of telemedicine is its ability to extend the geographic reach of medical care and provide access to medical specialists in remote and rural areas. Telemedicine technology offers also training and educational benefits to medical professionals at reduced costs. However, restrictive reimbursements and legislative policies are limiting the reach of existing telemedicine programmes.

"There are also other obstacles to use of telemedicine technologies like resistance from traditional healthcare facilities that are unfamiliar with new technologies," notes Petruczynik. "In addition, many potential adopters of telemedicine are witnessing objections from their medical staff that fears that they will be replaced by new and more efficient practices brought by telemedicine programmes."

Additionally, on the technology side, there exist concerns related to the integration of telemedicine with electronic medical records and resolving system interoperability issues. Moreover, medical staff will have to be trained to coordinate remote care, as well as cope with legal liability, accreditation and licensing issues.

"Once these obstacles are overcome, there exists sizeable potential for growth," states Petruczynik. "Enabling a significant level of customisation in the solutions for healthcare institutions will determine the success of videoconferencing in the telemedicine environment in future."

If you are interested in more information about this study, please send an e-mail to Joanna Lewandowska, Corporate Communications, at joanna.lewandowska@frost.com, with your full name, company name, title and contact details.

Visual Collaboration Applications in Healthcare is a part of the Market Insights -Conferencing & Collaboration subscription, which also includes research on: visual collaboration, enterprise communications and communication services, among others. These Market Insights are part of Frost & Sullivan Growth Partnership Service.

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Visual Collaboration Applications in Healthcare
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