Patients seem willing, but few taking part in telehealth, poll finds

Patients seem willing, but few taking part in telehealth, poll finds (HealthcareDive)

  • According to a survey from Telehealth vendor American Well, 66% of consumers are willing to try telehealth, but only 8% have actually done it and 17% of those interested in virtual care were unsure whether the service was covered by their insurance.
  • Another study (from health system Intermountain Healthcare) found that only 20% of people had heard of telehealth, which American Well called “a tremendous opportunity”.
  • Additionally, two thirds of Americans are using devices that help them monitor their personal health and 50% use health apps.

Berenberg view

  • Telehealth is clearly increasing in popularity – the number of physicians reporting telemedicine as a skill rose 20% per year over the past three years according to a study from professional medical network Doximity – with younger generations the most likely to make use of the new virtual care services (surprise).
  • According to a 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), virtually conducted doctor-patient visits increased by 261% yearly between 2015 and 2017.  
  • However, the article also highlights the well-known gap between people saying they are willing to try something new and people actually then trying it – as well as the continued efforts required in consumer education.
  • The two key groups telemedicine providers have to convince are mothers (since they still handle the majority of their childrens’ doctor visits) and seniors (a tricky one, given the inherent reluctance to use the tech, but a lucrative and growing market which could probably be accessed by targeting the younger relatives who look after their care rather than the seniors themselves).

Teladoc: a specialized telemedicine company

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