A global study performed by technology vendor Cisco, over 10 countries in 2013 revealed that trust in telehealth among consumers has soared. Seventy-six percent of patients chose telehealth access to their care over human contact with their healthcare provider.

“The patient and care provider experiences are top of mind in health care around the world.  Due to the increasing convergence of the digital and physical, there is an opportunity to provide increased collaboration and information sharing among providers to improve the care experience and operate more efficiently,”  said Kathy English, Public Sector and Healthcare Marketing, Cisco.

Instead of seeing their doctors in person, as many as 70% are comfortable using technology including:

  • texting
  • emails
  • video chat

This is further broken down as follows:

  • Telephone consultation with doctor-23%
  • Email consultation with octor-21%
  • Online consultation via instant messaging with a doctor-20%
  • Text messaging consultation-20%
  • Video chat consultation with doctor-19%

Online Services that patients would like to use include:

  • Appointment reminders-40%
  • Treatment reminders-29%
  • How to manage drug side effects-30%

More than 60 percent of healthcare users from Germany, Japan and the U.S. like the idea of being treated by a specialist using virtual technology.  Almost 75% of users in China, Russia and Mexico are comfortable communicating with a specialist using virtual technology.

So there are two questions that I have for you:

  1. Is this a way to combat doctor shortages or is it that people just want instant answers?
  2. Are examinations needless, an art, or a thing of the past?

Please share your answers and opinions in the comment box below or at: Barbara@TheMedicalStrategist.com