With lockdowns and social distancing, people shifted to doing more things online during the past year. Besides working, shopping and communicating with family and friends online, people were asked to visit their healthcare providers virtually. Providers ramped up their telehealth initiatives and now 7 in 10 US doctors say they currently use telehealth, per a report [download page] from Ipsos.
In 2020, close to two-thirds (64%) of doctors from 14 global markets said they knew a lot about telehealth, with fewer saying the same about remote patient monitoring (45%) and digital medicine (34%).
In the last year, doctors have grown more knowledgeable about these concepts, with 71% now saying they know a lot about telehealth. More than half (53%) now say they know a lot about remote patient monitoring, while about two-fifths (42%) are knowledgeable about digital medicine.
Consumers appear to appreciate telehealth, with The Harris Poll finding that about one-third of US adults would replace their primary care provider with virtual visits. Fortunately, many doctors plan to increase their use of telehealth practices in the future for monitoring patient condition (48%) and supporting patients to self-manage their condition (37%). However, pluralities say they are less likely to use telehealth solutions for prescribing decisions (37%) and diagnostics (42%).
When it comes to interacting with pharmaceutical companies, although physicians remain keen on communicating virtually, they would prefer in-person group interactions.
More than half (54%) of physicians say they would like to have more in-person events or meetings with pharma companies, while 48% would like to have more virtual group meetings with them. Fewer are interested in having more virtual one-to-one meetings (39%) or in-person one-to-one meetings.
As for virtual communication options, doctors want more click-to-chat services (50%) and online webinars (44%). Only 3 in 10 would like to receive more email updates about products and developments.
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 1,454 primary care physicians across 14 markets between November 2020 and February 2021.