Editor’s Note: This article was one in an ongoing series of CivicScience studies on telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest research into telemedicine use, click here.
For the first time since January-February 2020 — before the coronavirus pandemic first gripped the country — growth in Americans’ adoption of telemedicine was stagnant month-over-month from July to August.
Thirty-six percent of respondents in August said they had used telemedicine in ongoing CivicScience surveying. Another 20% said they intended to use remote healthcare services. Both of those figures are flat from the final survey results from July.
Satisfaction with telehealth services has remained remarkably steady through August and the months prior, with just more than two-thirds of telemedicine users continuing to say they liked the experience.
A Snapshot of Telemedicine Users
In August surveying, women were more likely than men to have tried telemedicine or intend to try it.
And telemedicine remains that rarest of technology trends in which older Americans (35+) are leading the charge, rather than younger ones.
While one might think the idea of remote healthcare would appeal to rural Americans who may have to travel farther to get to their doctors’ offices, those living in the countryside are actually less interested than others.
More broadly speaking, those living in the Northeast and West were more likely than those living in the South or Midwest to have adopted telemedicine.
While telemedicine adoption has remained flat month-over-month, it’s important to note that growth is still likely in the months to come. After all, 20% of U.S. adults surveyed in August said they hadn’t tried telemedicine yet, but they planned to. As the country heads into the fall and winter flu season and more adults find themselves in need of a doctor’s appointment, look for telemedicine adoption to creep upward in the months ahead — maybe just not at the astronomical pace we saw during the first four months of the coronavirus pandemic.