Study Highlights Readiness of Provider, Patients, and Executives for Telehealth

An in-depth study by Pew Waterhouse suggests that consumers, providers, and healthcare executives are ready to utilize mHealth (mobile health via smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops) in healthcare access and delivery.

According to the study, which involved interviewing over 25 executives, 1,500 clinicians, and 1,000 patients:

1. Over 2/3 of consumers would use mHealth if given the opportunity, while only 16% of practitioners currently offer such services

2. 36% of patients with a primary care provider have utilized a retail clinic for medical care, with 95% being satisfied with their care

3. 12 million people received medical services via telemedicine in 2014, with the number expecting to DOUBLE every 1-2 years in the future

4. 85% of providers expect mHealth to be a component of their practice, but want to do so on their terms (not partnering with a retail clinic or national doctor network)

“Disruptive” doesn’t adequately describe the potential of mHealth to affect significant healthcare change.  PwC estimates that established practices not adopting telehealth are putting over $64 billion dollars in jeopardy, as many primary care, urgent care, and ER visits can be adequately managed by competing providers and health systems utilizing mobile health functionalities.

Telemedicine and mHealth will undoubtedly alter our perceptions of patient care, improve delivery experience, and help the U.S. economy save billions annually.  This is welcome news for an industry that has performed poorly in terms of effective cost containment and resource allocation.  For example, a healthcare system in Pennsylvania implementing a paramedic driven mHealth platform has cut heart failure 30 day ER visit rates by 50% and 30 day hospital re-admission rates by 15% – tremendous cost savings, considering that this admissions would otherwise not be reimbursed!

Mobile health is not the next medical revolution – it is the current one.

Jeremy C. Storm, D.O.

President and CMO of Qvidity.com