Telemedicine and on-demand virtual care services provide a remote solution for physician visits, transitional care after a hospital discharge, and ongoing chronic care management, which can lower costs for both patients and providers. These services are also incredibly convenient for consumers and can expand access for those who have difficulty getting to the doctor, whether due to distance, scheduling, or condition.
Telemedicine provides the convenience and efficiency of not requiring the patient to physically go to a physician’s office, enabling flexibility – a key value proposition for patients. Overall, the telehealth experience raises consumer expectations for connected care from future providers. According to Parks Associates research, 64% of broadband households used a telehealth service in the prior 12 months. All healthcare industry players should expect that consumer experience with telehealth has forever advanced what consumers will seek and come to expect out of their healthcare experience.
The first wave of consumer-facing digital health features, such as online scheduling and access to one’s health records, are now table stakes for most provider practices and health systems.Consumers want to be able to do these tasks online, and over 40% say these features influence their choice of provider. Nearly the same percentage of consumers now say that virtual consultation availability influences their choice of behavior as well. This is a strong call for providers to embrace virtual consultations as a normal course of business and invest in the new workflows necessary to make such offerings sustainable for the practice or system.
Also notable – more than a third say that the ability to share connected health device or app data also impacts their selection of a new care provider. Most health systems and practices are not yet comfortable incorporating consumer-generated data into their practice of care, but as health device adoption among consumers grows, demand for these features will only grow stronger.
Providers and systems can be assured that the investments they are making in virtual care solutions now will continue to find a willing and even eager patient population post-pandemic.
This research excerpt is from Parks Associates study: Virtual Care: Connected Health Devices and Services. This study provides trending data on consumer familiarity, use, and demand for telehealth services and connected health devices. It evaluates user experience with telehealth services and investigates consumer appetite for virtual care as a standard offering, outside of crisis condition.
Parks Associates has been studying the connected health market for over a decade. For more information on our research, visit www.parksassociates.com or contact me today.
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