Survey finds most consumers unfamiliar with telemedicine, but willing to test it out

Approximately two-thirds of consumers are unfamiliar with telemedicine, but after hearing a brief description of the service, the majority indicated they would want to try a video consultation, according to a survey from :DentalPlans.

The survey gathered responses from more than 6,800 individuals. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they were unfamiliar with telemedicine. Those individuals were then given a brief description of telemedicine, "being able to speak to a healthcare professional by phone or over the Internet…get a diagnosis, advice on managing the issue and, if applicable, prescriptions for certain types of non-narcotic drugs," and 59 percent said they would want to try it out.

The survey also indicated key primary attractors to telemedicine. Survey respondents were able to select more than one answer.

  • Individuals can receive medical care without traveling to a healthcare facility (53.9 percent)
  • Easy, around-the-clock access to medical help (50.5 percent)
  • No need to go to a physician's office for minor, reoccurring ailments like allergies (38.8 percent)
  • No need to pay for visit to physician, emergency room or urgent care clinic (35.5 percent)
  • No concerns about exposure to other's illnesses while in waiting rooms (21.1 percent)
  • Ability to receive medical care when taking time off work is not an option (17.2 percent)

A little more than one-third of respondents, 37.1 percent, said they would not or probably would not try telemedicine. The most common reasons for not wanting to try telemedicine were preference for their own physician (65.4 percent) and concerns with the quality of care (12.8 percent).

More articles on telemedicine:

Walgreens to expand telemedicine services to 25 states
Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth joins statewide HIE
29 telemedicine technologies to know by price

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