Health IT, Telemedicine

What are consumers’ telemedicine and remote monitoring priorities?

A Deloitte survey of U.S. healthcare consumers revealed that priorities for telemedicine and remote monitoring tend to focus on caregiving more than self care.

Source: Deloitte Center for Healthcare Solutions

One of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of mainstream adoption of digital health technologies such as remote monitoring and telemedicine is the reality that consumers are generally unwilling to paying out-of-pocket for health services beyond the co-pay for health insurance. Although a Deloitte survey of healthcare consumers in the U.S. confirmed that most people believe insurance companies should cover these costs, the priorities for the 20 percent who said they would be willing to shoulder the expense revealed some interesting priorities. These included remote monitoring for chronic conditions, post-surgical recovery and to support caregiving.

The survey of 3,751 U.S. adults in the report from Deloitte Center for Health Solutions showed that of the 20 percent willing to pay for health tech, millennials, more than any other age group, were willing to pay the most for one-off telemedicine appointments ($100) and a subscription to a remote monitoring service ($88). Although millennials shell out for financial aid, they don’t tend to have as many financial obligations that older adults do such as caring for children and investing in retirement (only 36 percent have said they have a retirement account, according to a PwC poll).

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

The use of telemedicine for post-surgery recovery and chronic disease monitoring were priorities embraced across generations. That finding is interesting because in the past, telemedicine companies have promoted themselves for people with colds or sore throats. Although there are signs that could be changing, behavioral health has become a higher priority for some.

Source: Deloitte Center for Health Solutions

Source: Deloitte Center for Health Solutions


As for remote pa­tient monitoring, the overall preference among survey participants was for caregiving (38 percent), particularly for location tracking and fall detection and monitoring chronic conditions, as opposed to self-care. Yet, the report noted that Deloitte’s other research has found that only 7 percent of caregivers use remote monitoring tools.

Aside from the payment hurdle, for telemedicine and remote monitoring technology to be widely adopted, these companies will have to earn consumers’ trust with the quality of care they deliver and protecting personal information. The report recommended that digital health businesses develop risk mitigation strat­egies that take into account potential uses and misuses of personal information. They also need to make care delivery more patient-centric.

“Cre­ating more patient-centric care delivery models will likely require increased collaboration and shared decision-making between providers and patients,” the report noted.

Telemedicine and remote monitoring company CEOs would do well to consider the needs of family and professional caregivers in the product development phase.

“Many caregivers are interested in using technology—but adoption thus far is low. Some focus groups have shown that caregivers seek integrated, multifaceted platforms that help them coordinate tasks and selectively disseminate information. Most care­givers also want tools to ensure that medications are managed accurately and with ease,” the report said.

caregiver scenarios

Source: Deloitte Center for Health Solutions