News Feature | September 16, 2014

Patients ‘Accepting' Of Telehealth

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Telehealth Acceptance Increasing

A recent survey found the majority of patients are optimistic about telehealth video appointments.

A study published in Telemedicine and e-Health has found patients are optimistic about meeting with their healthcare provider via a video appointment. The study was authored by Matthew R. Gardner, MBA, MDes, Daniel A. O’Neil, MBA, MSIE, Douglas L. Wood, MD, and Barbara R. Spurrier, MHA of the Center for Innovation; Sarah M. Jenkins, MS of the Department of Health Sciences Research; and Sandhya Pruthi, MD of the Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic.

“Patient survey data indicate that most patients are likely to be accepting of telehealth care to the home using video call and that most have the required technology,” found the study. “Nevertheless, there are still significant hurdles to effectively implement this adoption of telehealth care as part of mainstream practice.

“In our patient survey study we observed that most participants were likely to accept telehealth care at home by utilizing video appointment and that most had the required technology.”

Fierce Health IT writes researchers surveyed 263 patients who had the technology to make a video call with their doctor. Thirty-eight percent said they were “very likely” to meet with their provider through video. Another 28 percent said they were “somewhat likely to do so” and only 33 percent said they were “unlikely” to meet their provider in that way.

The majority of patients, 86 percent, who had never participated in a video call said they prefer to see their doctor face to face. Even those who had experience with video calls said they prefer face to face visits (64 percent).

“It is evident that patient demand for video appointments from their homes is nascent, but that there is, nevertheless, a core of patients whose interest could be leveraged to help nurture mainstream usage.”