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PUBLISHED
October 27, 2022
Category

Telemedicine offers significant benefits to both patients and providers. Through telephone and video platforms, all types of healthcare providers can assess patient needs and offer care at any time and from anywhere. Likewise, Radiologists are able to work remotely with this advancement in telemedicine.

The use of technology allows Radiologists to share and analyze patient imaging. This market growth opens up more opportunities to provide radiology services to remote or rural areas by Radiology Providers.

Growing technology means improvement in radiology care

With the expansion of telecommunications technologies and the ability to transmit high-quality images across broad distances, teleradiology makes it easier for facilities of all sizes to improve radiology care. It is beneficial for facilities in rural communities or those with a limited budget that cannot keep a Radiologist on staff full time.

Traditionally, Radiologists could only look at imaging studies from where the patient got the scan or test. The technology did not exist to send a high-quality image to another facility in real-time, where the receiving Radiologist could accurately view and diagnose conditions from that image. Today, specialized systems allow providers to send these images so the Radiologist on the receiving end gets the same quality as they would if they were in the same facility.

High demand for virtual Radiologists

With the technological advances available today, the teleradiology market is fast-growing. Teleradiology allows providers to get a higher level of expertise in diagnosing unique or specialized conditions, even without having a Radiologist on staff with that expertise. This is particularly important in subspecialty radiology fields with fewer experts nationally, such as:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Radiologists
  • Pediatric Radiologists
  • Neuroradiologists

Most of the professionals in the teleradiology market work in large research-based and academic healthcare systems, which tend to be in more densely populated areas. Smaller hospitals often have only a single Radiologist on staff, while some hospitals may not even have that available.

Teleradiology allows these hospitals (and their patients) to access a higher level of specialty care and get the right diagnosis. Patients will not have to travel to larger healthcare systems, which is costly and inconvenient and can delay a proper diagnosis.

It also expands access to care for patients who might not be able to drive to see a Radiology Specialist in person. They can send imaging results from a local imaging center, then meet virtually with the specialist to discuss the results.

A 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that imaging rates increased dramatically between 2000 and 2016 (although it has slowed in recent years). The growing teleradiology market can help healthcare systems keep up with the volume of imaging tests, even if they do not have the budget for one or more Radiologists.

Emerging Teleradiology Market Trends

The teleradiology market has undergone significant advancements in a relatively short period of time. From Computed Tomography (CT), Nuclear Imaging, to other imaging procedures, new teleradiology trends can be seen in every segment of the industry.

The growth of connected technologies has already broken down physical and global barriers that once prevented patients from receiving the radiology care they need. But beyond digital innovations, there are other key market trends prevailing in the teleradiology market.

Burnout Reduction

Teleradiology is proving to be one of the most effective ways for Radiologists to avoid burnout. It can be difficult for Physicians to keep up with the demands of their job, regardless of specialty. Physical fatigue from constantly standing, providing complicated treatments, and struggling with lack of resources can all contribute to burnout.

Teleradiology gives Radiologists the ability to assess X-rays, MRIs, and other medical imaging without having to be in the same room as their patients in order to provide a diagnosis. Teleradiology also helps to streamline workflow by prioritizing the most critical cases.

Solving the Skill Shortage

A shortage of skilled medical professionals is predicted to increase in coming years, with a loss of nearly 122,000 Physicians anticipated in the US by 2032. Teleradiology can help to fill gaps in medical imaging needs and relieve overburdened healthcare systems.

A reduced supply of Physicians means a greater demand for skilled medical professionals in the teleradiology market. Advancements in telehealth technology can provide teleradiology solutions to the underserved and understaffed areas that need them the most.

Increased Trust in Teleradiology

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a seismic shift in the way healthcare services are performed. The need for telehealth became essential in protecting the health of both patients and medical staff alike. The pandemic was a proving ground for the teleradiology market, with an increased need for remote X-rays to detect the presence of COVID. The technology proved itself to be highly reliable and effective, and teleradiology solutions have been widely adopted as a remote healthcare solution.

3D Report Viewing

Technology continues to drive innovations in the teleradiology market. Advancements in CT and Magnetic Resonance Imaging 3D imaging services require report viewing capabilities consistent with the quality and complexity of the images. 3D report viewing gives Radiologists the ability to analyze images in three dimensions, providing deeper insights and facilitating more accurate diagnoses.

Teleradiology Market Size

Market growth of teleradiology has increased substantially in only a few years. The telemedicine needs of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in teleradiology solutions. The rapid adoption of teleradiology as a substitute for in-person radiology services has led to a teleradiology market boom.

According to a recent teleradiology market report, the global teleradiology market size reached an estimated base year value of $7.3 billion at the end of 2021.

While the teleradiology market reaches all corners of the world, some parts of the global market are more saturated in the teleradiology market than others. North America dominated the global teleradiology market in recent years and the North American teleradiology market has the largest share of global teleradiology market revenue and is only expected to grow.

Factors contributing to market growth of North American teleradiology include advancements in teleradiology technology, increases in chronic illness and medical emergencies, and healthcare access needs of patients in rural or underserved areas. Telemedicine is also now more well-known among patients, which contributes to an increase in demand for these services.

Global diagnostics also indicate steady market growth for teleradiology in Europe and the Middle East according to Europe teleradiology market analysis. However, the competitive landscape of the Asia Pacific region commands significant market growth in the global teleradiology market and may grow even faster than the North American teleradiology market share. A larger regional population that lacks overall access to traditional radiology services will drive expansion in the Asia Pacific teleradiology market.

Teleradiology Market Outlook

A Teleradiology report from Markets and Markets notes that global teleradiology market growth is expected to reach $14.8 billion by 2026, showing a compound annual growth rate of 15.3% in the forecast period between 2021 and 2026. They state that "due to the outbreak of Coronavirus globally, there is a sudden rise in the demand for teleradiology services." As hospitals and healthcare facilities become more familiar and comfortable with telemedicine for medical practice, teleradiology market growth may increase faster.

A few of the major factors in the growth of the global teleradiology market are:

  • More demand for second opinions in the teleradiology market, even from patients in rural areas with access to only a few providers.
  • Rising usage of imaging studies for diagnosis in the teleradiology market, especially with more accurate and more advanced studies available.
  • A shortage of Radiologists with the training to analyze imaging studies in the teleradiology market, particularly in rural communities and in subspecialty areas of radiology practice.
  • Expectations for fast, accurate diagnosis after completing an imaging study.

The Future of the Teleradiology Market

The teleradiology market has a bright future. Global teleradiology market analysis indicates that there is already steady market growth for teleradiology services but technological advancements and increased need for remote radiology will only propel the global teleradiology market forward.

Teleradiology has been widely adopted by healthcare centers and hospitals around the world, largely in thanks to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the requisite social distancing required to mitigate the spread of the disease. Since traditional radiology services could not be safely provided to patients during the pandemic, many healthcare providers relied on the convenience and efficacy of teleradiology.

But the tangible benefits of teleradiology for both patients and providers extend far beyond social distancing requirements. Today, more and more hospitals and healthcare centers are outsourcing teleradiology solutions for patients who cannot feasibly travel to receive traditional radiology services.

Future developments in the global teleradiology market will alleviate the workload of overburdened Radiologists. An overworked Radiologist can be detrimental to the efficiency of a hospital or radiology center. While Radiologists strive to deliver the same standard of care to every patient, a bloated workload can translate to diagnostic mistakes caused by burnout.

By outsourcing teleradiology services, some of the work burden can be taken off the shoulders of in-house Radiologists. In the future of the teleradiology market, workflow can be streamlined, driving productivity and improving quality of life for Radiologists.

Technological advancements will continue to disrupt and reshape the teleradiology market, as well as the healthcare industry as a whole. Cloud storage, in particular, is one technology that will be adopted more in teleradiology solutions.

Cloud infrastructure will drive the global teleradiology market by enabling easier uploading, analysis, and storage of radiology images and reports. Files can be accessed from anywhere by anyone with permission to view them. This eliminates the need for terabytes of traditional file storage and facilitates document sharing between departments and different healthcare organizations.

And as in many industries, artificial intelligence is expected to play a greater role in the teleradiology market in the near future. Through the use of deep learning algorithms, artificial intelligence software can understand patterns and desirable outcomes by analyzing thousands of radiology images. Artificial intelligence can save precious time by quickly generating accurate reports without the need for an in-person Radiologist.

Teleradiology will also break down barriers between the various subspecialties of radiology. Traditionally, when a radiology subspecialist was needed for a second opinion, the process could be expensive and potentially frustrating.

Few medical facilities in the United States have a full staff of radiology subspecialists at their disposal. But advances in the teleradiology market allow subspecialists from all disciplines to be consulted instantly, saving time and money for radiology centers and hospitals.

For patients, medical imaging can be scary and difficult to decipher. It is, after all, slightly unnerving to see the contents of your own body on screen. But with the adoption of 3D report viewing in the teleradiology market, Physicians can provide an in-depth three-dimensional view of medical imaging to patients.

Not only can this help Radiologists provide more accurate diagnoses, but it also gives patients the opportunity to better understand the results of their MRIs and X-rays.

And although it seems like a departure from conventional medicine, supporting technology like smartphones and tablets will have an impact on the way radiology services are performed. Findings can be shared and commented on without the need for a stationary computer.

While many medical images require specific software to generate high-resolution images, that is not necessarily the case for every radiology image. The widespread availability of touchscreen technology alone can help Teleradiologists to perform their services at a larger scale.

Since teleradiology services can be performed virtually anywhere at any time, Teleradiologists will be essential for providing emergency services when Radiologists are not available.

X-rays are expected to expand at the fastest rate out of any segment of the global teleradiology market. An increase in the number of X-ray imaging procedures has led to faster and easier diagnosis of acute injuries, which are perfectly suited for teleradiology. Ultrasound services in the global teleradiology market are also anticipated to grow significantly in the future.

Of all the various types of healthcare facilities, the teleradiology market will have the biggest impact on diagnostics centers. In fact, data suggests that demand for radiology services is actually a driving force behind the rising number of diagnostics centers in the US and around the world.

The innovations and changes driving the future of teleradiology will have repercussions throughout the global teleradiology market.

The demand for teleradiology solutions will increase in the Asia Pacific region, which already has a firm grip on the teleradiology market. This growth is primarily due to an increase in healthcare infrastructure for large rural populations in need of quality healthcare that might otherwise be unavailable without teleradiology.

In the US, an increased prevalence of chronic illness and aging is expected to drive the teleradiology market. Existing healthcare infrastructure and government initiatives will contribute to the future of widely available teleradiology in the region.

Teleradiology is increasingly popular and the global teleradiology market is forecasted to grow significantly in the future. From rural healthcare centers to urban hospitals, teleradiology is poised to become an indispensable part of the modern healthcare system.

Benefits for Teleradiologists

For those working in the teleradiology market, there are many benefits to this career field:

  • Improve access to care: By offering teleradiology services, more patients can get accurate and fast diagnoses after an imaging test, even if they live in a place with a shortage of Radiologists at their local healthcare facility.
  • Address workforce shortages: Many healthcare organizations have difficulty finding and paying for qualified Radiologists, especially in rural communities or at small hospitals. Teleradiologists fill an essential gap so patients can still get the care they need.
  • Career flexibility: Typically, a career as a Radiologist meant moving to a specific location. With teleradiology, you can have more flexibility to practice outside of major medical centers and still provide patients with great care.
  • Great salary and job security: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that demand for Surgeons and Physicians (the broad category that includes Radiologists) will be 7% over the next 10 years. The average salary for a Radiologist in the U.S. is $319,320.

Top places to look for teleradiology jobs

Radiologists looking for jobs in the teleradiology market can find them in every state. As mentioned above, one of the benefits of teleradiology over other radiology positions is the ability to work remotely from anywhere. It’s important to carefully review and understand licensing laws for various states if you would like to offer teleradiology services in a state outside of the one where you live and are otherwise licensed to practice medicine.

Professional organizations like the American College of Radiology (ACR) have job boards with postings for Radiologists, including postings in the teleradiology market. You can also search traditional online job boards to find teleradiology postings.

A locum tenens staffing agency is another valuable resource for physicians looking for temporary or permanent placement at healthcare facilities throughout the U.S. (and internationally). These locum tenens Radiology Providers fill a much-needed role in many rural and understaffed facilities throughout the country.

Work with a locum tenens agency and build your teleradiology career

As a Radiologist looking for opportunities in the teleradiology market, a locum tenens agency can provide an important service that helps you find options to fit your career goals and qualifications. These agencies can provide:

  • Access to current job listings that match your specialty area of practice and your expertise
  • Assistance with all the details to relocate for a position, such as transportation and housing
  • Negotiation to get the best salary and benefits for a locum tenens position
  • Help with paperwork for licensing and other details to begin practicing in a new location

There are a lot of staffing agencies out there. Still, the best option for Radiology Providers interested in teleradiology positions is to find a partner that has specialty-focused experience in this industry.

A partnership with a locum tenens agency like Health Carousel Locum Tenens can help you find cutting-edge opportunities and take care of all the administrative work to start caring for patients through their broad network of health facilities and employers.

FAQs

What is the future of the teleradiology market?

  • The teleradiology market is expected to grow to $14.8 billion by 2026. Teleradiology services are in high demand and the value of the teleradiology market is expected to increase substantially in the coming years.

What is the key driver in the teleradiology market?

  • There are several major factors driving the teleradiology market. Greater demand for second opinions, rising usage of imaging studies for diagnosis, and a shortage of radiologists with the training to analyze imaging studies are all pushing the teleradiology market forward.