A new survey among 2,019 U.S. citizens age 18+ conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of American Well has found that 64% of Americans are willing to have doctor visits via video telehealth.
The results show that consumers perceive video as the best form of telehealth, with 63% of them believing that live video visits are more likely to yield an accurate diagnosis than phone or email alone. Among smartphone users, this sentiment was higher at 69%.
Furthermore, survey respondents said they want to be able to select the doctor they see, not be randomly assigned to one — 88% prefer to choose a doctor based on the credentials, training, and experience provided in a physician’s online profile.
62% of consumers think that a video visit should cost less than an in-person visit.Another important factor for choosing telehealth over traditional in-office visits is the cost, with 62% thinking that a video visit should cost less than an in-person visit.
The survey has also found evidence that telehealth will change the way healthcare is delivered in three key areas – after hours care, primary care and choosing a doctor.
Consumers still consider the ER as their first choice for late night urgent care; however, video visits have now become the second choice overall for consumers if their child or a loved one was sick with a high fever, ranking higher than 24-hour nurse lines. Moreover, 21% of people said they would do a video visit first, and that number rises to 30% in parents of children under 18.
88% prefer to choose a doctor based on the credentials, training, and experience provided in a physician’s online profile.Primary care is an area that leaves a ton of room for growth of telehealth services with 70% of consumers reporting that they’d rather have an online video visit than an in-office visit to obtain common primary care prescriptions. Survey respondents indicated interest in telehealth visits for getting prescriptions refilled (60%), antibiotics (41%) and chronic condition management medication (40%).
Finally, 7% of consumers said they would actually switch primary care doctors to ones that offer telehealth visits. While this figure may seem like a modest number, it represents 20 million adults. Among the millennial generation, the number was higher, at 11%.