Matthew Arnold, over at Medical Marketing & Media, reports how “Americans (are) of two minds on virtual visits, remote care“. The report quotes a survey by Euro RSCG Tonic that found “that 42% are comfortable with the idea of online consultations” and “77% said they’d be open to trying it if it meant greater convenience and less expense” before leaving us with a punchline to dwell on:
“Many Americans remain skeptical about the prospect of online consultations with their doctors and DIY testing via mobile apps, though men, younger and more affluent people and those with chronic conditions are more receptive”
For those who don’t have a good grasp of public health issues this might appear to suggest that the interest and demand for mHealth consulting services might be lower than expected, but this is definitely not the case. Further down in the report Kate Gill, Managing Director Strategy at Euro RSCG Tonic, goes on to explain:
“People with chronic conditions are very interested because it means more contact with their doctor”
This is very important because although ONLY 25% of the U.S. community population are reported to have one of five major chronic conditions (asthma, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and mood disorders) the spending for this group was $270 billion or 49% of total health care costs (according to 1996 MEPS data).
So contrary to the skeptical title this research is actually revealing that the Patients who are responsible for most healthcare costs are “very interested” in remote consulting.