Telemedicine Trends Globally
We’ve discussed the uses of telemedicine in the United States and in developing countries, but how are other developed countries across the globe utilizing telemedicine? Globally the telemedicine market is expected to reach a value of $27 billion in 2016 with an annual growth rate of 18.5 percent. Which countries are part of these numbers? Let’s take a look at some examples!
Telemedicine in the UK
The United Kingdom is home to four well known centers using telemedicine, in Aberdeen, Powys, London, and Belfast: Guy’s Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, Super-Janet network, and Queen’s University.
Figure 1: Trend of occurrence of various projects in the UK over the last decade.
From the Postgraduate Medical Journal
An analysis of telemedicine in the UK shows how the UK embraced telemedicine in the early 1990’s and has been steadily growing since then. In fact, results showed that between 2001 and 2003, 216 telemedicine projects were identified in the UK, with the highest number of projects occurring in England. The use of telemedicine varied from emergency medicine, specialized medicine, and educational projects.
Telemedicine in the Middle East
In the Middle East, and especially in the wealthy countries of the Arabian Gulf, telemedicine has garnered support in the private and public sectors. For the United Arab Emirates (UAE), telemedicine is relieving stress of the healthcare system strained from a rapid rise in chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. The UAE leads the Middle East in telemedicine adoption, specifically teleradiology. Other countries in the Middle East – less developed countries – are able to use telemedicine to connect them to medical providers across the globe. For example, in countries like Syria, where unrest has plagued the nation for over 4 years now, telemedicine is saving lives.
Telemedicine in Zimbabwe
Econet — a telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America, North America, and the East Asia Pacific Rim — is breaking headlines as it introduces its own Dial-a-Doctor service! Though it’s still a pilot program in Zimbabwe, this effectively means that telemedicine has arrived in Zimbabwe. Better yet, they are using WhatsApp to do it. WhatsApp has crept its way into all aspects of life and now it’s even saving lives!