As previously reported by CivicScience, the emergence of the COVID-19 virus sparked a new interest in telemedicine among Americans. Although this seemingly safe and convenient platform appeals to some, data show that the number of consumers who report negative experiences with telemedicine is still high. In fact, there are now more people who have tried and disliked telemedicine than who plan to give it a try.
Data on doctor visits over the same time period shows a possible correlation between satisfaction with telemedicine services and an uptick in more frequent doctor visits. The more frequently a respondent reported visiting the doctor, the more likely they were to have used telemedicine and liked it. Survey respondents who visited the doctor three or more times in a year are more likely to dislike the virtual services they have received, but dissatisfaction did not increase further for people visiting the doctor six or more times in a year.
Despite the competing levels of satisfaction, consumer intent to give the services a try is near-equal, even among those who haven’t seen a doctor in the last year.
When the pandemic is over – or perhaps more controlled, less transmissible, or the like – 38% of U.S. adults who have used telemedicine said they would continue doing so when applicable. At this time, there are more telemedicine users who aren’t sure what they will do than there are those who will stop using telemedicine altogether.
Society is still far from a post-COVID-19 era where people visit their doctor in person without a second thought. Without a way to predict the “end of the pandemic,” and keeping in mind that 38%, there is plenty of time for health care providers and stakeholders to innovate and solve complex issues evolving in virtual health care.