Most Consumers Want Virtual Care: New Study

The people have spoken (yet again), and they want access to virtual visits. Or, at least that’s what the results of one survey indicated. As Fierce Healthcare first reported, market researchers from Parks Associates found that a majority of people living in households with broadband access wanted to be able to receive health care remotely, whether by phone or over the Internet. “As the consumer-focused transformation in health care broadens, more care will be delivered in non-acute settings, including in people’s homes,” Elizabeth Parks, who serves as the company’s senior vice president, said in a statement accompanying the study’s findings.

According to the researchers, 60 percent of those surveyed who were in households with broadband indicated that they wanted access to virtual care. Notably, the Parks researchers found that patients considered access to telehealth and similar services to be especially important as a follow-up to a stay in the hospital, with nearly 60 percent stating that they considered it to be a priority. Care for chronic conditions, urgent but non-emergency visits, and “routine checkups” also ranked high on the list of situations in which consumers wanted access to virtual care.

The Parks researchers will be discussing the study’s results in more detail at the Connected Health Summit, to be held in San Diego later this month. Their findings are decidedly in line with those of other researchers who have studied consumer preferences when it comes to telehealth and other forms of virtual care. For example, as we reported earlier this year, the Advisory Board Company’s Virtual Visits Consumer Choice Survey found that 77 percent of people would be willing to have a health care provider visit via telehealth. What’s more, the survey of 5,000 patients also found that 19 percent of patients had already had a virtual visit. The results, the researchers noted at the time, will likely translate into new opportunities for providers and health care organizations.

Click here to read the Fierce Healthcare article on the Parks Associates study results.

Click here to read a Parks Associates blog post on the virtual visit study results. 

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