New research released by Xerox indicates that 77 percent of consumers are open to and excited about the possibility of virtual healthcare services, yet only 16 percent have used virtual health.
Harris Poll conducted an online poll on behalf of Xerox in May among 2,033 U.S. adults that indicates that virtual health is gaining acceptance among patients. Sixty-one percent of consumers surveyed said they are willing to receive non-urgent healthcare advice, exam or counseling in a virtual setting.
According to the survey, convenience was cited as the top benefit (59 percent), followed by potential cost savings (40 percent), the ability to see or communicate with a healthcare professional for minor ailments and to easily receive prescription refills (both 35 percent) and the ability to see or communicate with a healthcare professional more frequently (26 percent).
“This tells me that we’re on the edge of a major expansion in virtual care—when there is this much demand from consumers, the industry must pay attention,” Russ Mulert, innovation office, Xerox Healthcare Business Group, wrote in a blog about the survey results.
“But for healthcare providers, implementing a comprehensive telehealth strategy is easier said than done—otherwise we’d have made more progress in the last two decades. The infrastructure for actually delivering virtual care, and integrating patient and claims data from telehealth visits with mainstream clinical and financial systems, are two significant challenges. And providers also need to be aware of and address patient concerns.”
The consumers surveyed also cited a number of concerns regarding telehealth and virtual health visits. Consumers cited these as top concerns—my insurance won’t cover (43 percent), my data and information won’t be secure (37 percent), I won’t see the same personal relationship with my provider (35 percent), connection issues (such as internet/Wi-Fi/phone) (34 percent) and lack of access to regular physicians (30 percent).
Xerox announced the survey results in conjunction with the announcement of its new Virtual Health Solutions product, which, the company says, enables providers to integrate a comprehensive telehealth strategy to electronic health records (EHRs) and provide technology infrastructure to support the delivery of virtual care.