It makes sense to wonder, before investing in telemedicine, whether your patients will actually use it. The benefits of a patient-centered healthcare experience are clear: it's convenient, cost-saving and efficient, too. But as anyone who's worked in health IT knows, tech adoption can be sluggish. So, will patients use telemedicine? To take a little inspiration from a Magic 8 Ball, "all signs point to yes."
Statistics show patients' vested interest in using telemedicine. First, let's look at some numbers included in our telemedicine trends whitepaper, which you can receive here. According to research from global IT companies such as NTT Data, nearly 75% of patients are comfortable communicating with their doctors using technology instead of seeing them in person, and about the same number say they would use telehealth services. And, these patients seem to be pleased with the quality of telemedicine care, too. Over 2/3 of patients said their satisfaction with medical care was somewhat or significantly increased by using telemedicine.
Telehealth use is becoming more widespread at a remarkable rate. In 2012, the number of patients monitored remotely for congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension and mental health conditions was 308,000 worldwide. This year, that number is expected to be 1.8 million patients. That's an enormous, extremely rapid increase, and for remote monitoring figures alone. Another survey estimates that by 2018, the number of patients using telehealth services globally will hit 7 million, with a growth rate of 18.5% through that year. You may as well make sure your patients are part of that enormous increase!
One of the driving forces behind this growth is a new generation of constantly-connected patients. Millennial patients are extremely receptive to telehealth. According to Beckers Hospital Review, one study reports that 82% of millennial patients surveyed would rather have a telemedicine visit than an in-person consultation.
User satisfaction for these visits is high: one study reports that 78% of participants, after using telemedicine services, stated an interest in using the technology again. Other studies, such as a recent journal article on the impact of teleneurology, report 95% of participants interested in continued telehealth services after the initial tech use. If those patients are so resoundingly impressed by telehealth, chances are your patients will be, too.
Widespread telehealth use is, in some ways, inevitable. Wearables and remote monitors are everywhere, health apps dominate our smartphones, and anyone in the world is a click away. There are other factors at play, too: for many patients in rural or underserved areas, telemedicine is the only option for care. Adopting telehealth technology fairly early in the game is a great idea, as opposed to catching up with the technology later on. Try telemedicine now, not just because it's convenient for you and has a great ROI, but because the numbers don't lie. It's what your patients want!
What questions do your patients ask about telemedicine services?
Let us know in the comments!