Telemedicine has been around for over 40 years. It’s nothing new, nothing we haven’t heard of before. So why is it that patients are now increasingly demanding these services and physicians are willing to deliver?
The answer lies in the technology. With the evolution of the tech now used in the healthcare industry, it’s no wonder how attractive telemedicine is becoming.
The technology being developed even goes beyond the platform itself and puts emphasis on the services being delivered. When putting emphasis on delivering a convenient service, physicians are promoting valuable care that attracts patients. With the move towards value-based care, telemedicine goes beyond remote care itself. It transitions towards care convenience that offers personalized care on the go, where and when you need it.
Growing Patient Interest in Telemedicine
The convenience of connecting with your doctor within minutes, from anywhere, is not lost on anyone. No need to take time off work or sit in waiting rooms for what feels like hours. Simply sign-in, connect and you’re done.
The question most physicians ask themselves is whether or not telemedicine is attractive to all their patients, that is, to all age groups. However, according to the Telehealth Index: 2017 Consumer Survey, 67% of adults between the ages of 45-64 are willing to have a virtual visit and 60% of consumers are willing to use telemedicine for help in managing a chronic condition.
The willingness to take part in video visits has grown exponentially in the last 2 years. In 2015, 17 million consumers wanted to switch to telemedicine, which has grown to a whopping 50 million consumers in 2017.
This growth can be attributed to the appeal of telemedicine for patients as they can:
- Connect where and when it is convenient for them
- Reduce the need to go to the ER and wait time significantly
- Benefit from Medicare reimbursements
In fact, providing telemedicine can be a game changer for some physicians. The 2017 American Well survey reveals the willingness of consumers to participate in telemedicine:
Why Offer Telemedicine Services to Patients?
The technology behind telemedicine has grown exponentially, offering physicians the resources to properly conduct consultations through virtual clinics that not only fit their needs, but those of their patients as well.
As Dr. Brown, a telemedicine modernizer, puts it,
“There’s a whole bunch of reasons that [telemedicine] is becoming more used. Number one is distance and access to care. A lot of rural areas have long distance travel to see a health provider, particularly a specialized type of health provider. […] It also is a great way to access scarce resources — those sub-specialists who are expert in a specific area, this is a way for them to reach out and spread their expertise in a greater geographic area.”
Expanding care service options lets doctors do more within the same time frame. Finding the right service allows them to achieve the benefits of telemedicine to their full potential:
- Better patient engagement
- Improved access to care
- Increased revenue
- Patient recruitment
Telemedicine is not only attractive for patients, but doctors as well. The appeal of telemedicine goes beyond the simple quick connection to patients, but rather, includes benefits such as meeting MIPS requirements, monetary gains, and higher patient satisfaction rates through expanded hours and increased visits.