How open are patients to telemedicine? Opinions split down the middle, finds Mayo survey

Patients are evenly split in their willingness to receive telehealth services. According to a survey from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic, 38 percent of patients said they would be "very likely" to see their provider via video, and 33.8 percent said they would be "not at all likely" to do so.

Researchers gathered responses from 263 patients over the telephone on their interest in a telehealth model where the patient supplies the hardware and Internet connection.

Here are 11 more key findings from the survey.

  • Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they would be comfortable setting up a video call on their own.
  • Previous experience with video calling appears to boost an individual's willingness to undergo a video consultation, as 62 percent of respondents who had participated in a video call before agreed or strongly agreed they could receive the same quality of care as an in-person visit. Just 34 percent of respondents who had not previously participated in a video call said the same.
  • The opposite also holds true: 86 percent of individuals who had not previously participated in a video call wanted face-to-face encounters with providers, compared to 64 percent of those who had previously participated in a video call.
  • The average age of those willing to accept a video appointment was 55.4 years old, and the average of those not willing was 64.1 years old.
  • Approximately 75 percent of individuals said it was not at all likely that they would accept a video appointment if it were not covered by insurance. Just 5.1 percent said they would be very likely to if it were not covered by insurance.
  • However, distance from providers affected individuals' willingness to receive video consultations even if not covered by insurance: 8.4 percent of "non-local" individuals said they would be very likely to receive video consultation if not covered by insurance, compared to 2.2 percent of "local" individuals.

More articles on telemedicine:

Patient attitudes toward telemedicine: 3 key findings
Despite incentive funds, Internet provision in rural areas lags

Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Mongolian hospital to expand partnership on telemedicine

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