Consumerization was a major healthcare trend before COVID-19, but the pandemic has clearly accelerated it. Given the continued higher use of telehealth services post-pandemic as well as recent news that consumer retail giants Amazon, Walmart and even Dollar General are expanding their healthcare offerings, consumers are driving change. Retailers and other industries like banking and travel with strong consumer strategies understand how to appeal to consumers through convenience and simplicity, two qualities that healthcare (although improving) is lagging.
We can officially declare that we are in the 21st century with 97 percent of Americans now owning a cellphone of some kind. About 75 percent of adults in the United States have a desktop or laptop computer, while roughly half own a tablet computer.
Recent research has shown that women have been more receptive than men to receiving their healthcare through telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. One study published in June 2020 found women ages 18 to 44 were more likely than men to choose a video or telephone visit versus in-person. Similarly, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that 38 percent of women and 32 percent of men completed a telehealth appointment between March and December 2020.
Driven by major revenue losses due to COVID-19, increasing patient volume was deemed the top priority for physician practices in 2021 and beyond, according to a recent poll conducted by Epion Health. Poll respondents characterized boosting the number of appointments to their practice as “critical” or “most critical,” more than any other priority for 2021.
In a study of 2,000 adults from around the United States, two-thirds of respondents stated that COVID-19 increased their willingness to try telehealth in the future. This is in comparison to about 25 percent who expressed they hadn’t previously considered it an option.
March 17, 2021
In the United States, a large portion of healthcare spending is incurred by a small percentage of the population. That’s nothing new. Neither is the fact that the U.S. spends more money on healthcare - approximately $3.6 trillion and 18 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) – than any other developed nation.