Telemedicine Interest

Peter ForsterGPS

A survey by mental health systems reviewer Software Advice revealed that 75% of patients who have never used telemedicine said they were interested in trying such services in place of an in-person medical visit, as reported by this article on

Of those 75% of patients, 39% identified as being “extremely interested” or “very interested.”

71% of the overall respondents pool claimed they would “strongly prefer” or “somewhat prefer” online care for minor medical ailments, citing such reasons as not having to travel to receive care (21%) and quality of care equaling or exceeding in-person care (21%). Only 6% of respondents alleged that they saw no benefit to telemedicine.

The numbers are undeniable: patients are looking for ways to make their health care experience more convenient, more fulfilling, and more affordable. And they view telemedicine as the solution.

However, the question is whether or not they are willing to pay for that convenience. My own experience suggests that this interest may be broad but it is also shallow. People are not actually willing to pay as much for telemedicine as they are for visits to see a doctor. And since telemedicine is inevitably less efficient (you can’t hand someone a lab slip) for the practitioner the question remains whether this is an approach to care that will take root.