Digital advances in health and medicine are popular with patients, according to a survey about attitudes toward telehealth from Cox Business. The company found that 72% of respondents would have greater peace of mind if their primary care physician used electronic health records (EHR) during visits.
The survey also found that 40% of respondents use wearables to improve their health. Eighty-three percent of this group would give their doctors access to fitness tracking data as a way to monitor their health and wellness, the survey found.
“From calorie counting and mileage tracking to therapy and medical testing, we as patients have access to an unprecedented number of apps to manage all facets of our health from the palm of our hands,” Cox Communications Executive Vice President Steve Rowley said in a press release. “Healthcare providers have an opportunity to leverage this technology and the insights it offers to enhance patient care.”
The category clearly is still in the growth phase. For instance, the survey found that 56% of respondents’ primary physicians don’t offer telehealth services. The percentage offering such services may grow, however: forty-nine percent of consumers who experienced telehealth last year found it easy to use and, perhaps more importantly, 88% see it as helpful to their health.
There is tremendous growth potential for telehealth. In April of last year, telehealth platform provider American Well found that 22% of physicians have used telehealth to see patients. The more important statistic is that the percentage is expected to rise to 61% by 2022.
It will be a welcome trend. Last November the FCC found that almost half of the counties in the U.S. face a “double burden” of chronic disease and a need for greater broadband connectivity. The thinking is that by providing this connectivity – including through programs such as the Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect program – more effective health services will become available.