In their recent 2022 Virtual Primary Care Adoption Survey, TytoCare asked a group of its users to evaluate the digitally aided care they’re receiving from the healthcare company. TytoCare is a leader in facilitating remote examinations and offers an FDA-cleared examination kit that allows users to perform a variety of physical exams. These range from taking basic readings as one might do with wearables, such as body temperature, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels, to more complex exams of the heart, abdomen, lungs, and more.
So what did TytoCare users think about their remote exams? According to the survey, 86% of them are more likely to turn to digital healthcare after their experiences using the TytoCare remote examination kit. Fewer than that — 67% of respondents — said that the ability to do remote physical exams would make them more likely to stay with a health insurer because of access to remote examinations. Almost the same number, 66%, said experiencing remote physical exams made them more open to digital-first healthcare plans.
Waiting time played a significant role in the attitudes of the users. According to the survey, 90% of respondents waited 6 days on average for an appointment with a primary care physician. As for wait times at healthcare facilities, 80% of users said they waited 30 minutes or more, and more than 45% said they waited between 1 and 2 hours and more. Interestingly, cost ranked low among respondents; only 4% of them said that they saved money through remote physical exams. It’s key to note that all these users are covered by major health insurers in the United States.
Although this survey is limited to 300 TytoCare users, we have evidence that suggests wider acceptance of TytoCare’s remote medical exams. In a partnership with the healthcare company mPharma, TytoCare’s platform is in use throughout Africa, specifically in pharmacies in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zambia. According to TytoCare, between June 2021 and April 2022, more than 8,000 people have had examinations and been treated using the TytoPro system. MPharma’s CEO Gregory Rockson says, “As a continent with a deficit of 2.4 million nurses and doctors, digital health solutions remain key in solving Africa’s primary healthcare challenges.”
While remote patient monitoring is becoming ever more common, remote physical exams are still much less prevalent. That’s likely to change, according to healthcare experts like JunoHealth executives Dr. John M. Ciccone and Christopher Kunney. The two recently co-authored an article on the future of healthcare. They write, “The addition of haptic technology will enable the performance of remote physical exams. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will improve the accuracy of clinical decision making and improve the recognition of population health data, which will drive down costs. If this seems like science fiction, think of the concept of self-parking or a self-driving car 30 years ago that are today’s reality. “