Connectivity turns telehealth from must to must
A study by digital-grade technology provider Applause found a dramatic increase in the use of telehealth services due to the Covid-19 outbreak, with nearly two-thirds of a sample of 5,000 people reporting that they planned to increase the use of telehealth in the post-pandemic environment.
Recognizing that telehealth is nothing new in itself, Applause pointed out that advancements in video conferencing applications, the availability of smartphones and broadband access are leading to more use cases. He said that in 2020, many of those use cases included delivering expanded types of care digitally, driven by the pandemic, and the results of his investigation show that telehealth is rapidly gaining traction and has lasted. .
The survey found that nearly half (46%) of respondents had used telehealth services at least once – 84% using it as a way to avoid in-person activities during the pandemic. The applause said the good news for telehealth providers was that a large majority of respondents to its survey – 63% – said they plan to use telehealth more than before the pandemic. Additionally, over three-quarters (77%) of patients said they enjoyed using telehealth, despite 48% saying there were things they couldn’t do through the telehealth service. that they would have liked to do.
Ultimately, Covid has introduced a large patient population to what telehealth can be and they want to see more services available digitally.
As telehealth is on the rise globally, the survey showed that respondents in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) lagged behind others in their use of these services. About half of those surveyed in the Americas (51%) and APAC (49%) had previously used telehealth services, while only about a third (37%) of those in EMEA had done so. .
The survey showed that the biggest barrier to the adoption of telehealth in all regions was network access and availability. Of the 54% of respondents who had not used telehealth services, 46% said this option was not available to them, 39% said they preferred to see their doctor in person, and 8% said it was not available to them. they hadn’t needed to see a doctor recently.
“We continue to see great digital experiences being the key differentiator for brands across industries, and healthcare is no exception,” said Luke Damian, Director of Growth at Applause. “Telehealth is rapidly moving from a pleasant service to an essential service. Not only will healthcare providers need to offer telehealth options, but they will need to ensure that the experience itself is easy, intuitive, and fun to use.
The applause also highlighted the fact that other research firms and analysts had drawn similar conclusions about the rapid acceleration of telehealth. In his Product Manager Insight: A Guide to the CIO 2021 Healthcare Provider Survey, analyst Gartner observed, “While the pandemic has delayed some technology investments, other investments, like virtual care, have been accelerated dramatically. Indeed, telehealth remains the most common technological investment area for 2021. ”