Survey: 35 percent of consumers would choose virtual visits over in-person

By Aditi Pai
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TechnologyAdviceSome 35 percent of consumers said they would likely choose a virtual visit over an in-person one, according to a TechnologyAdvice survey of 504 US adults conducted via Google Consumer Insights.

The survey also found that 56 percent of respondents said they would be somewhat or very uncomfortable conducting a doctor visit using a telemedicine offering. And 75 percent of people said they would not trust a diagnosis that a doctor made over a video visit, or would trust it less than if they met with a doctor in person.

Interestingly, the responses to the trust question varied by age. When asked how much they would trust a virtual diagnosis, 54 percent of respondents over 65 years old said they wouldn't trust the diagnosis, but only 16.9 percent of people aged 18 to 24 said they wouldn't trust it.

But trust issues aren't even the main reason respondents said they didn't use video visits. Over half of respondents, 51.8 percent, said that if the telemedicine service offered more convenient scheduling options or were less expensive, they would be more likely to use it. TechnologyAdvice explained that this suggests there is a large, existing audience for telemedicine services if vendors can effectively highlight the benefits.

Some 65 percent of respondents said they would also be more likely to conduct a virtual appointment if they had previously seen the doctor in person.

A larger number of the respondents, 63.5 percent, said they would be comfortable conducting a virtual appointment at home, compared to just 7.5 percent of people who said they would be comfortable conducting the appointment from a retail kiosk.

This data is rolling in at a time when telemedicine companies are very much in the news. Dallas, Texas-based video visits telehealth company Teladoc raised $156.8 million in its IPO a few weeks ago. The company also recently acquired another video visits offering, called Stat Health. Two other video visits companies, Doctor on Demand and MDLive, both raised $50 million this year.