The Potential Socio-Economic Impact of Telemedicine in Canada

Hafner, Marco and Yerushalmi, Erez and Dufresne, Elaine and Gkousis, Evangelos (2021) The Potential Socio-Economic Impact of Telemedicine in Canada. Project Report. RAND Corporation.

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Compared to traditional in-person healthcare delivery, telemedicine is characterized as the ability to remotely access healthcare services using information and communication technologies (ICT). The COVID-19 pandemic has acted globally as a force of rapid digital transformation across many business sectors including how people access healthcare. Increasingly, many primary and special healthcare consultations are moving towards remote consultations and services.

AIM: The aim of the report is to quantify the potential social-economic benefits of a permanent increase of teleconsultations in Canada. We conduct a comprehensive literature review on the types of telemedicine available and the barriers to adoption. We then focus on three issues: (i) time saved, (ii) fewer emergency room visits and missed appointments, and (iii) greater access to physicians.

METHODS and FINDINGS: First, we develop an economy-wide computable general equilibrium (CGE) model calibrated to the Canadian economy. The model integrates endogenous labour-leisure substitution and simulates an increase of teleconsultations from the current 4% in Canada, to a potential of 10% to 50%. Because teleconsultation saves time, it raises the potential for work and leisure, which would raise welfare by around CAD 5 billion a year. Next, a partial equilibrium approach quantifies improvements in the Canadian health system. A rise in teleconsultations is expected to lower emergency room visits for minor issues and missed appointments. This could save around CAD 150 million a year. Finally, using a life-satisfaction valuation approach, teleconsultations benefits Canadians in communities where medical care is harder to access. This improves their well-being by up to CAD 600 million a year.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
20 December 2021Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Canada, Computable General Equilibrium (CGE), Econometric Models, Health Economics, Public Health, Telemedicine, Teleconsultations
Subjects: CAH01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01-01 - medical sciences (non-specific)
CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-02 - economics > CAH15-02-01 - economics
CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-04 - health and social care > CAH15-04-03 - health studies
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School > Centre for Accountancy Finance and Economics
Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School
Depositing User: Erez Yerushalmi
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2022 09:50
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 11:48

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