The average internet speed required to accomplish a streaming webcam telemedicine consultation is between 5 Mbps and 25 Mbps. Which can be a tall order for individuals without access to high speed broadband internet.
In a report published earlier this week, the FCC found that the average connection speed in the U.S., as of September 2014, checks in at 31 megabits per second (Mbps), a marked increase from the 10 Mbps average the agency observed back in 2011. With the rise in online movie watching services such as Amazon Prime video and Netflix, the demand for faster, more accessible broadband internet has increased dramatically.
This want by the large population of internet users has been answered. Since 2014, internet speeds globally have increased a whopping 14 percent. On the global list of internet speeds the U.S. ranks 16th with an average speed of 12.6Mbps, meanwhile the global average is a slower 5 Mbps.
This trend of internet speeds has directly affected the use and availability of telemedicine systems throughout not only the United States, but the world. As broadband internet is expanded, and speeds increased, more and more potential patients have access to real-time, convenient healthcare.
As a part of an ongoing initiative to track and forecast the impact of networking applications, Cisco has predicted that by 2020, “Broadband speeds will nearly double, globally fixed broadband speeds will reach 47.7Mbps.”
What this means for telehealth is that high quality streaming video will become more commonplace, better allowing the average American the opportunity to take part in the growing movement that is consulting with a physician via webcam.