News Feature | December 16, 2015

80% Of Patients Open To Telemedicine

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Telehealth Care

According to a PricewaterhouseCooper’s Health Research Institute report, 80 percent of patients are open to telemedicine in primary care.

A report from PricewaterhouseCooper’s Health Research Institute finds many consumers are open to embracing telehealth innovations in primary care.

“With rising costs and increased demand, primary care practitioners need to rethink their business models to unlock value — and be rewarded for their contributions,” Dr. Simon Samaha, a principal in PwC’s US Health Industries practice, said in a statement. “We’re going to see non-traditional players shake up the industry using new technologies and innovative approaches focused on convenience for patients and value for providers.”

According to iHealth Beat,

  • 80 percent said they were open to looking beyond traditional doctor visits for care
  • 60 percent said they were open to a virtual doctor visit
  • 50 percent said they would use a do-it-yourself diagnostic test
  • 31 percent said they were interested in monitoring their vital signs with a wearable device

“Primary care needs to shift from its traditional role of 'gatekeeper' to an array of specialties and instead become a more engaged, central part of the system. This change is being driven by the demands for greater value, consumer need for convenience, and changing health demographics,” said Kelly Barnes, US health industries leader, PwC.

The report also found that of all groups, Hispanics are the most engaged in mobile health technology. MobiHealth News reports 14 percent reported using mobile health technology to monitor or diagnose a health condition, compared with 5 percent of the general population. In addition, 31 percent of Hispanic consumers reported using mobile health technology to make appointments, compared with 5 percent of the general population.

“Challenging old business model assumptions and leveraging new technologies is going to be key to the transformation of primary care. As patients become more open to novel ways of receiving care, new entrants are taking advantage of this change while traditional practitioners alike must embrace it, or be left behind,” said Vaughn Kauffman, PwC Health Industries’ principal and leader of PwC’s new entrants practice.