Telemedicine executives say they are optimistic about the future of the industry and are planning near-term investments to keep pace with rapid transformation and growth.

Survey findings show that 83 percent of respondents to a survey sponsored by the American Telemedicine Association say they are planning to invest in telehealth services.

However, top challenges still remain for the technology, which has been trying to achieve widespread adoption within healthcare for 20 years. Respondents noted reimbursement and licensure remain top barriers to increased telemedicine adoption.

Also See: New law provides opportunity to expand use of telemedicine

However, advances in patient-centered healthcare and improved interoperability of electronic health records are advancing acceptance of the technology, respondents say.

The report from the ATA’s executive leadership survey is based on 171 respondents in executive leadership positions representing telehealth service providers, healthcare practices and hospital systems. The survey and summary report can be downloaded here.

“This executive leadership survey confirms undeniably today’s leaders view telemedicine as a major driver in transforming healthcare,” said Jonathan Linkous, CEO, American Telemedicine Association. “I anticipate tremendous growth in the market as we continue to move toward more patient-centered solutions.”

Other key findings include:

• 88 percent of respondents plan to invest in technology related to telehealth this year.

• 98 percent of leaders say they believe telehealth services create a competitive advantage over other organizations that do not offer it.

• 84 percent of respondents believe offering telehealth services strongly expand an organization’s coverage and reach.

• About half of respondents believe increasing consumer demand will be the key trend that will propel the growth of the telehealth market in the next there years.

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