Driven by the pandemic lockdowns, telehealth services have experienced rapid growth across the U.S. The trend appears to be holding even as the COVID-19 threat appears to wind down, as many patients and doctors have grown accustomed to the convenience and efficiency that telehealth can offer. A new study sheds some new light on who is actually using these services.
athenahealth has released the results of a study of the appointments booked by patients on the athenaOne system from 2020 through 2022. An analysis of the results reveals that women are more likely to use telehealth than men. And this holds true for both patients and doctors. This gender preference holds across other demographic factors, such as age, race, and location.
As it turns out, male patients are 15% less likely to use a telehealth service than female patients. And patients in general saw female clinicians more than twice as often as those who saw male clinicians.
Many studies have shown that women make many of the medical service decisions within a household, which makes this analysis of gender preferences more significant. This could demonstrate increased demand for telehealth services by both patients and their physicians going forward. This in turn could influence the lawmakers who must approve provisions to continue to make telehealth services available.