Healthcare became the only priority across the world after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while some issues came to the top of that list, the rest were put on the back burner to reduce the risk of patients getting infected. Since healthcare settings, such as hospitals and diagnostic centers, were a hotspot for the virus, it seemed unsafe for people to visit them. However, advancements in technology provided some medical professionals the opportunity to work remotely. Teleradiology is when a radiologist interprets medical images without being at the location where the images are generated. Teleradiology services are now being offered by mobile imaging companies, hospitals, urgent care facilities, and private practices.
Teleradiology has been prevalent across the modern radiology practice and has aided practices in getting multispecialty, after-hours, and geographic coverage. It reduces turnaround time and increases underserved access. However, the quality assurance involved in offsite interpretation is crucial, and IT integration solutions might be the solution smaller practices need to successfully adopt teleradiology. After the imaging for elective procedures’ backlog was given the green light in the third quarter and teleradiology services and AI-based solutions are projected to profit from fresh capital investments. Flexible payment options, scale-up in capacity, redistribution of workload, and reduced human contact, will help the growth of the teleradiology services market. Dental teleradiology is also a growing sector in the teleradiology services market.
A recent survey conducted by American College of Radiology found that 45% of radiologists who were not connected to a teleradiology company resorted to teleradiology. Radiology practices can opt for coverage of a fixed portion of their projected volume internally and depend on teleradiology firms or business-to-business and spot-market radiologist hires to take the additional cases, thereby lowering the fixed labor costs. In the pre-COVID-19 phase, numerous radiologists were already using home PACS workstations. Another survey published in the Journal of American College of Radiology indicated that before the COVID-19 outbreak, teleradiology had only been utilized for call as well as overnight shifts. After the pandemic outbreak, more and more practices have been installing home workstations and switching daytime shifts to their internal teleradiology.
The leading companies in the sector include viz., Teleradiology Solutions, Philips Healthcare, USRAD Holdings, Inc., MEDNAX, Everlight Radiology, ONRAD, Inc., AGFA Healthcare, RAMSOFT, Inc., Telediagnostic Solutions PVT. LTD., and CARESTREAM HEALTH, Inc. Recently, in June, MEDNAX, the Floride-based company, announced that it was selling its Radiology Solutions business line and change its name to the previous ‘Pediatrix Medical Group.’