According to new research from market intelligence firm Tractica, telehealth video consultation sessions will increase from 19.7 million in 2014 to 158.4 million per year by 2020. 

Though clinical consultations currently account for more than three-quarters of the market, the firm predicts that growth over the next several years will be especially strong in non-clinical settings. In fact, Tractica forecasts that non-clinical video consultations will outnumber clinical consultations by 2019.

“While many elements of digital and mobile health technologies are still emerging, the market for telehealth video consultations (TVCs) is one that has a firm foothold and is poised for strong and stable growth in the coming years,” states the report. “TVCs, also referred to as eConsults, eVisits, remote video consultations, or even the broader term telemedicine, are expanding in terms of use cases, deployments, and adoption.”

At the same time, Tractica principal analyst Charul Vyas cautons that the market “still faces a variety of challenges, including the high initial cost of deploying services, inconsistent reimbursement models for telehealth consultations, and some continuing resistance by physicians, patients, and regulatory bodies.”

Also See: Success of Telehealth Seen Tied to Medicare Reimbursement

In related news, an initial public offering on Wednesday of Dallas-based Teladoc—one of the largest telehealth companies—jumped 50 percent in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. RBC Capital analyst David Francis initiated coverage of Teladoc with an outperform rating, arguing that the company has the potential to “revolutionize” healthcare delivery with virtual medicine (VirtMed)—currently a $250 million market that could grow to more than $20 billion over the next decade.

“With cost pressures escalating, the economics of VirtMed alone create a significant new revenue opportunity in our view. Adding PopHealth and secondary market opportunities, we believe the VirtMed market could ultimately exceed $50 billion," according to Francis.

Analysts at investment firm Goldman Sachs also predicted this week that digital health will transform healthcare, saving the industry more than $300 billion in the near term with major growth opportunities in telehealth, allowing patients to receive medical advice virtually without having to visit a doctor’s office.

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