The pandemic has forced more consumers to think digitally and rely more on online services than before. But what about healthcare? Is the US general public ready to replace their regular visits to their primary care physician with telehealth or virtual services? Here’s what a report [download page] from The Harris Poll reveals.
It turns out that more than one-third (35%) of the US general public would consider getting rid of their primary care doctor if they were able to conduct regular medical appointments via telehealth or virtual services.
This acceptance of virtual health services is far more prevalent among younger people, with 50% of Gen Z/Millennials and Gen X respondents saying they would use telehealth or virtual services in lieu of their primary care physician. However, only 24% of Boomers and 8% of Seniors would be willing to make the switch.
It also appears to be an option that more Hispanic (52%), Black (43%) and Asian (40%) Americans would consider than would white Americans (32%).
At the start of the pandemic, healthcare providers increased their efforts at telehealth initiatives. When asked to consider their use of digital and in-person services preferences once the pandemic ends, while a slight plurality (44%) of Harris Poll respondents would still prefer in-person health services, some 42% say they would prefer a hybrid model with a mix of telehealth and in-person.
The value of telehealth options is clear. More than half (53%) of respondents think telehealth appointments are good for asking medical questions, while others say they are good for reviewing lab test results (48%). However, fewer would use this sort of appointment for getting sign-off for prescription refills (36%), if they were sick (34%) or if their child is sick (15%).
Overall, consumers are pleased with how healthcare is digitally adapting to customer needs. Indeed, more than three-quarters (77%) say that healthcare has done a very/somewhat good job at adapting its services to the evolving needs of consumers.
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a December 2020 survey of 2,028 US adults (18+).