Access to telehealth services still low, with many questioning its value
Healthcare IT News | July 31, 2019
Nearly three quarters of Americans said they are unaware of, or unable to access telehealth services, even though one in 10 said they had previously used telehealth technology. These were among the findings of a J.D. Power survey of 1,000 Americans, which also found patients between the ages of 18 and 24 to have used telehealth more than any other age group – seniors used telehealth services the least. While telehealth awareness lowest in rural areas, low levels of awareness nationwide, coupled with lack of access, are hindering adoption, the study concluded. However, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they would be more likely to use telehealth services if the cost was less than their copay for a doctor's office visit. The results indicate for the patients standing to gain the most from healthcare, services need to be positioned to patients as a way to reduce costs, while simultaneously maintaining a high level of care. Indeed, the survey suggested that quality of care is a concern, with just under half of survey respondents saying they believe telehealth services are subpar compared to the care they’d get in a physical doctor’s office. As the healthcare industry undergoes a wide-ranging digital transformation, another survey of U.S. consumers found mobile applications are proving to be a hit with patients.