Consumers are keenly interested in digital and remote health services during the COVID-19 emergency, with roughly four in five respondents in a recent 1,000-person survey saying they would take part in a remote health consultation, and would also prefer a virtual visit prior to an in-person appointment.
This new poll, distributed on March 29 by digital customer experience platform Lightico, also suggests that part of this demand may be partially the result of positive first-hand experiences. Among the 31% of participants who said they had received care remotely, 41% described their experience as either "good" or "excellent."
Although this rate indicates clear room for growth, it did outpace the respondents' satisfaction levels with remote services from other industries, such as banking (33%), telecom (33%), auto lending (29%) and insurance (28%).
Other findings from Lightico's survey included more frequent use of digital health channels among younger respondents, with those age 18 to 39 nearly twice as likely to report digital communications with a healthcare provider than those aged 40 to 75 years. Further, 71% said they would prefer to fill out and deliver their healthcare documents through digital means such as email or a smartphone app, rather than "legacy" channels such as traditional mail or in-person forms.
More generally, 82% of the survey's respondents said that they were concerned about leaving their home, 78% said that they were avoiding healthcare visits unrelated to COVID-19 and 56% said that they were concerned about their financial obligations.
WHY IT MATTERS
With hospitals overloaded and whole nations locking their doors, it's hardly a surprise that COVID-19 has placed remote health in the spotlight. This survey suggests not only that the services are on consumers' radar, but that they may be appreciating their remote health experience enough to continue using the technology once everything has cooled down.
THE LARGER TREND
Alongside numerous reports of skyrocketing users among digital health platforms and telehealth providers, the public sector has also taken action toward opening the remote-care floodgates. CMS has temporarily expanded telehealth benefits, the FDA has enacted emergency policies permitting wider use of connected remote vital-sign monitors, and the FCC is bankrolling a major investment in telehealth infrastructure across a variety of provider organizations.