How Telehealth Helps Reduce Costs

Telehealth uses communication platforms and technology to deliver various healthcare services to patients remotely. Reports suggest that the telehealth market was at approximately 144 billion USD in 2020 and will continue to grow, reaching 559 billion USD by 2027.

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An introduction to Telehealth Technology

An introduction to Telehealth Technology

Telehealth uses communication platforms and technology to deliver a variety of healthcare services to patients remotely. In recent years, the use of telehealth technology has increased significantly. Reports suggest that the telehealth market was at approximately 144 billion USD in 2020 and will continue to grow, reaching 559 billion USD by 2027. 

Healthcare practices have started to include telehealth services to reach more clients, and specific methods operate solely from a telehealth platform. Telehealth technology allows patients who live remotely or have mobility/transport issues to access specialized healthcare services. Telehealth platforms that work with healthcare practices ensure that patients receive the same care they would in person by being HIPAA-compliant and encrypting and storing all data safely. Research conducted on the advantages of telehealth technology has recently suggested that using telehealth services for healthcare leads to reduced costs for both patients and practitioners.

How much does a telehealth system cost?

Telehealth systems will vary in their cost, depending on the type of software and services the practice requires. Some telehealth platforms can be free, but the more complex features included, the more expensive the venue. These platforms will generally have high-quality video conferencing, live chats, clinical documentation, and safe storage of confidential data.

 As well as the base cost of the telehealth platform, there are various additional elements designed to boost your telehealth practice that may incur charges. These include hardware, specialized equipment, tech support, and training of staff. Ultimately, the cost of a telehealth system can vary from the affordable end of around $50,000 to $300,000 if you choose to utilize high-end software with complex features. 

How much does a telehealth system cost?
Telemedicine equipment costs

Telemedicine equipment costs

A further cost to consider when moving your services to telehealth includes telemedicine equipment. Although most people have access to computers, mobile phones, and headphones, additional telemedicine equipment is often required. 

How much does telehealth equipment cost

  • Telehealth equipment related to the technology used by practitioners may include hardware like upgraded computers, microphones, cameras, and mobile devices. This hardware can cost anywhere between $100 to $30,000. 
  • Other telemedicine equipment involves medical devices needed to perform remote services, including digital monitors, stethoscopes, and vital sign monitors. Usually quite expensive, each of these devices will cost between $5,000 to $10,000. 

Telemedicine kiosk cost

  • Telemedicine kiosks are kiosks implemented in the practitioner’s facility containing equipment required for practitioners to deliver their service in the best way they can. Patients can access telemedicine kiosks and be virtually connected to a practitioner without the need for an appointment. Kiosks contain a wide variety of equipment, which will cost around $5,000 to $10,000 per device. Although expensive, kiosks contribute significantly to quality healthcare and patient satisfaction.

Telemedicine startup costs

Although the exact costs will vary depending upon the services that your practice requires, the following is a general guideline on the different necessary features you will need for a telemedicine startup and how much you can expect to pay. 

Telemedicine platform cost

  • As mentioned above, the exact cost of a telemedicine platform will be dependent on the size of your practice, the features you require, and how much you are willing to pay. The expected price range for telemedicine platforms is between $50,000 and $300,000. When selecting a telemedicine platform for your practice, you should look for integration, data analytics, encryption, and most importantly, that it is HIPAA-compliant. These factors will ensure you choose a platform that contributes positively to your health care workspace.

Telemedicine app development cost

  • Developing a telemedicine app allows healthcare practices to customize their software so that the platform suits their services. App development is a costly process that involves hiring or consulting with external software developers. The ultimate cost of the app development will depend on the size of the practice and the features included, ranging from between $15,000 to $150,000. 

Telehealth cost structure

  • Starting a telehealth business or moving some healthcare services online will require high startup costs. The most expensive aspects of telehealth businesses will be the platform and app development. Secondary prices include extra hardware, internet providers, staff, and IT training and marketing. However, these initial costs will allow the practice to engage with a broader range of patients and improve healthcare quality, two factors that can make telehealth more profitable than in-person practices.

Telehealth business plan

  • A business plan is the most critical key to reducing costs in telehealth. With a business plan, you can ensure that you stick to your budget while including all the features necessary to integrate telehealth services successfully. Business plans will also provide you with target objectives, giving context on when your telehealth company will break even on costs and profit.
Telemedicine startup costs
Telehealth cost-benefit analysis

Telehealth cost-benefit analysis

Cost-benefit analysis equations will determine whether the benefits of telehealth outweigh the costs. Studies comparing the cost-benefit analysis of telehealth services with in-person services have suggested that telehealth has more significant benefits. When conducting these equations, it is essential to focus on the increase in benefits rather than reducing costs. 

Further, studies have indicated that using telehealth services has saved patients significant amounts of money and time spent traveling. The benefits of telehealth include flexibility, accessibility, a more comprehensive range of patients, and improved healthcare quality.

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