As a technologist and founder of Modern Health Talk, I advocate for telehealth, including remote doctor visits by video, but I wondered about how ready consumers are for this vision of the future of healthcare. Well, market research from American Well, a telehealth company, answered that. Here’s a summary of their 2015 Telehealth Consumer Survey.
Are Consumers Ready for Telehealth?
- Yes, MOST consumers (64%) are willing to have a video visit with a doctor.
- More convenient (61%)
- Saves time & money
- Avoids need to drive
- No delay waiting for appointment
- No germs from hospitals & clinics
- Some (36%) are still skeptical oftelehealth.
- Too new & unfamiliar
- Don’t know how it would work
- Is it a Real doctor?
- Telehealth interest spans ages but peaks in ages 18-44 (busy with job & family)
When sick or injured during odd hours and unable to go to their doctor, where do they go for care?
- Consumers think of the ER first, with video visits 2nd
- Video visits are preferred more by people with children (30%) than those with none (18%)
- They prefer to select their doctor, not be randomly assigned, if given the option
- 62% expect lower costs for online visits
Doctor-Patient relationships are changing with online visits.
- So far, just 7% of consumers would switch doctors to get online video visits (11% among young adults aged 18-34), but that is expected to grow.
- Relationships of 2-4 years are most at risk for online switching.
- 76% had doctor relationships of 2 years or more; 34% had less.
To retain patients, health systems should embrace telehealth.
- 90% of healthcare organizations report already developing or implementing telehealth solutions.
- They need an effective way of competing with new retail and urgent care models.
- 71% of employers expected to offer telehealth services to workers by 2017, driven by cost savings.