COVID-19 is not only moving medicine online. It may also change how docs practice, survey finds

a female behavioral health specialist consults via video with a patient
COVID-19 has impacted a lot in the practice in medicine, including therapies doctors want to prescribe and how drug companies interact with healthcare providers to pitch those therapies, according to a report from Accenture. (American Well)

COVID-19 hasn't just taken healthcare delivery virtual. It may also be changing the way doctors practice medicine, according to recent survey. 

According to an Accenture survey of 720 healthcare providers around the world, 65% of healthcare providers said they value self-administration methods for patients, such as auto-injectors or on-body devices, more than they did prior to the pandemic. 

The majority (62%) also said they value tools for remote monitoring their patients at home more than they did prior to COVID, with nearly one in five saying they expect that asking patients to self-administer their care may be a permanent change. 

COVID-19 has also generated demand for new therapies, the survey found. 

RELATED: Tech experts: Widespread adoption of telemedicine, remote monitoring 'here to stay'

For example, 66% of responding providers said they'd switched their patients to a different therapy due to a fear of the side effects or the impact on their risk of COVID-19. The timing of administration (44%) and the type of administration (41%) during COVID-19 were also important considerations in switching patients to a different therapy, especially for oncologists, the survey found.

These changes have also impacted the way drug companies are reaching doctors, the survey found. 

For example, 43% of providers said they are restricting those who enter the office for professional reasons, including drug reps, and 44% expect to continue those restrictions 'for the foreseeable future.'

As a result, pharma rep interactions have largely moved online with 65% of meetings held virtually after COVID-19, compared to 64% of meetings being held in person prior to the pandemic.

Only 10% of providers they wanted to go back to pre-COVID norms of in-person meetings in the future, the report found.

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