Survey: More than half of patients prefer telehealth visits to in-person care

As telehealth technology continues gaining momentum, patients are realizing the value of virtual care options—even preferring it to in-person care in some instances.

More than half of patients surveyed by the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) indicated they were “very satisfied” with a telehealth visit in the last year, and 54% said the experience was better than a traditional office visit.

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Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of telehealth users were under the age of 50. More than half of the survey respondents said they learned about telehealth through their physician, making them twice as likely to use a service offered by a doctor rather than a telemedicine service.

The survey results echoed prior research indicating patients value the convenience of telehealth visits, even when receiving bad news. HIDA survey respondents that used telehealth services within the last year generally did so out of convenience and lower costs.

Increasingly, independent physicians are using telemedicine apps and services to conduct virtual visits when they lack the infrastructure for an in-house program. Hospital executives have also said they plan to invest in telehealth technology despite the persistent reimbursement challenges, citing the need to maintain a competitive advantage and expand their market reach.