Nearly half of consumers have never heard of telemedicine, says survey
July 29, 2015
A survey of 1200 consumers found that 41 per cent have never heard of telemedicine, despite telemedicine attracting growing attention from providers and regulators for its potential to increase access to more convenient, lower-cost healthcare.
The HealthMine – a consumer health engagement company – survey and other research revealed that a majority of patients are still sceptical of telemedicine's diagnostic accuracy, highlighting a significant gap in understanding of this healthcare technology.
However, age makes a difference when it comes to knowledge and acceptance of telemedicine. While 58 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds said they would use telemedicine, only 37 per cent of consumers aged 55 to 64 said they would do so. What's more, 52 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds believe they understand when it is best to use telemedicine, as compared with 34 per cent of 45 to 54 year olds.
Across all age groups, only 15 to 17 per cent said they would not use telemedicine but 39 per cent were unsure.
"Telemedicine has the potential to deliver convenient and affordable basic healthcare to people of all ages,” saidBryce Williams, CEO and president of Texas-based HealthMine. "Wellness programmes can be the place where consumers are educated on the best way to access healthcare services, whether it be through a doctor's office, emergency room, urgent care centre or telemedicine visit. Plus, telehealth is evolving to more than telephone visits. Soon, your smartphone will be a stethoscope and more."
The survey was fielded by Survey Sampling International in May 12015. Data were collected via an opt-in panel. The margin of error is four per cent.