Mothers want on-demand doctors and other digital health tools, survey finds

By Heather Mack

Mothers, in a role that is always on-call, are constantly looking new ways to manage their families' health, and that means having 24/7 access to a doctor, according to a new survey.

The survey asked 527 American women, aged 18-59 with children, a number of questions to gauge their relationship with digital health tools such as apps, trackers and telehealth services. The survey was conducted by EmpowHER, an online health community for women, and found 100 percent of moms want constant access to a doctor. Additionally, 71 percent said they had lost more than two hours from the work or school day to take their children to the doctor. The survey was released by LiveHealth Online, a telealth service that offers round-the-clock access to board-certified doctors via smartphone, tablet or PC, and which is covered by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“Research shows that busy working moms can find it challenging to see a doctor when they need to address a non-emergency health issue,” Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Medical Director Dr. Joseph Fox said in a statement. “We understand the importance about how mobile technology is evolving and providing moms with new tools that help manage, track and access health information. Now, more than every, women need access to information and technology that enables them to focus on health and wellness for themselves and their families.”

Moms want a lot of things from technology, and they aren’t afraid to approach it, the survey found, especially when it gives them more agency over caring for their family. Over half surveyed said online video visits with a doctor would make them more confident that they can attend to their family’s health, and 79 percent said they are either interested in or already actively learning more about telemedicine.

Sixty-four percent would take on-demand healthcare over other instant services like on-demand video or food delivery, and that same number said they have a hard time taking their kids to the doctor during work hours during the school year.

And when it comes to technology, mother knows best, at least according to the 84 percent of women surveyed who said they are the most “health tech-savvy” in their family.

“Moms in particular are benefitting from the merger of technology and health...,” LiveHealth Online President John Lesser said in a statement. “The results of this survey, plus the growing utilization of technology, reveal the importance of health related tools for woman and emphasize this increased need for healthcare to become more convenient when they are unable to reach their doctor’s office, especially with an anticipated shortage of primary care doctors, crowded ERs and continued rising costs.”