5 stats that reveal inequity in telemedicine

Telemedicine holds strong potential to democratize healthcare, but its use remains unequal, a Dec. 13 report shows. 

Rock Health conducted a digital health consumer adoption survey that asked 7,980 U.S adults about their relationship to digital health.

Five things to know about the demographics of telemedicine users:

  1. More urban residents used telemedicine (80 percent) than suburban respondents (72 percent) and rural respondents (60 percent).
  2. The most likely users of telemedicine were younger users, educated users, high earners and those with chronic conditions.
  3. Those who used telemedicine the most also reported the highest rates of expected continued or increased telemedicine use.
  4. Nonwhite respondents were significantly more likely to use telemedicine than white respondents. The share of non-white respondents using telemedicince increased by 8 percentage points from 2020, making 77 percent of non-white respondents telehealth patients. 
  5. The least likely to use telemedicine were adults above 55 years old, those making less than $35,000 annually, rural residents, the uninsured and those without prescriptions. This suggests telehealth may not be reaching some of the most vulnerable populations.

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