Previously we’ve covered medical community interest in telemedicine, and more recently, the AMA telemedicine recommended guidelines. Turning to the other end of the stethoscope, most patients support telemedicine and the use of newer technologies for medical care and for patient communications, according to a new survey. Customer relationship management company Salesforce recently published the “2016 Connected Patient Report – Insights into patient preferences on telemedicine, wearables, and post-discharge care”.
The report is based on a Harris Poll survey of 2,025 U.S. adults 18 years of age and older from June 8-10, 2016. Among the polled group, 1,736 have primary care doctors and health insurance. Among the interesting findings from the polling, 59 percent said they would choose a primary care physician who offered a patient mobile app for making appointments, reviewing bills, and viewing health data. Among insured patients, 63 percent said their primary care physicians provide virtual care via technology, but mostly with older tech such as phones (53 percent) and email (28 percent).
Nearly two out of three (62 percent) said they would be amenable to video conference calls for virtual care treatments rather than in-office visits for routine matters. Among millennials, 52 percent they would prefer a primary care doc who offered virtual care treatment. The main reasons for preferring virtual care are convenience (74 percent), easier on their schedules (52 percent), and less the risk of getting sick from other patients (33 percent).
Even though the adoption of wearable health tech by the healthcare industry remains low, 62 percent of those polled said they would choose physicians who use data from patient wearables. The number jumps to 78 percent of those insured adults who own a wearable. Regarding wearables provided by others, 62 percent of millennials said they would use a wearable provided by healthcare professionals as long as they could access the data. Two thirds would use a wearable provided by an insurance company if using it would get them better insurance premium rates.
Patients surveyed who had been hospitalized in the past two years (or had family members who had been hospitalized) didn’t think too highly of the post-discharge process. Of that group, 61 percent said there was room for improvement, including better patient-physician communication and more modern technology to manage their data, especially between different providers.