Health IT

How do consumers utilize technologies for healthcare?

A Deloitte survey of 4,530 Americans ages 18 and up found millennials were more likely than seniors to use tech to receive medication alerts and to measure their fitness and health improvement goals.

Health application touchscreen interface for improving fitness through personal healthcare

A Deloitte survey released earlier this summer looked at what is preventing doctors from adopting virtual care technologies. Now, a new Deloitte report examines how consumers are making use of technology as part of their healthcare experience.

In February and March of this year, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions surveyed 4,530 Americans ages 18 and up.

Overall, Deloitte found consumers of all ages are using technology in various areas of their lives, including healthcare. Of the entire respondent pool, 27 percent said they have used tech to monitor health issues.

The survey also broke down technology usage by age group. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 61 percent of millennials (defined as those born between 1982 and 1997) admitted to using technology to measure their fitness and health improvement goals. Forty-six percent of Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1981) and 25 percent of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) noted they do so, while a mere 16 percent of seniors (those born before 1946) said the same.

Additionally, while only 7 percent of seniors indicated they had used technology to receive medication alerts or reminders, 37 percent of millennials said they had done so.

Looking specifically at the telemedicine space, 77 percent of consumers noted they had never tried a virtual visit, but 57 percent said they’re willing to try. Among consumers who have tried virtual visits, 77 percent were satisfied with the care they received.

Still, the survey showed the virtual visit experience isn’t perfect. Forty-four percent of all respondents said the wait time for a virtual visit was shorter, and only 53 percent indicated they thought the provider they saw during the visit was as professional as knowledgeable as the provider they see during an in-person visit. Plus, a mere 34 percent noted they got all the information they needed from the visit.

The Deloitte survey also took a peek into digital assistants like the Google Home and Amazon Echo. Eighty-one percent of millennials and 44 percent of seniors said they use such technologies to monitor health issues. Additionally, 74 percent of millennials and 57 percent of seniors noted they utilize assistants to receive alerts for medications.

As different types of technologies continue to move into healthcare, the report concludes with a bit of advice for hospitals interested in implementing tech initiatives. Healthcare organizations should ensure their workforce is ready to take on a new IT offering and should also be ready to accept patient feedback about the product. Health systems also must work to carefully integrate any new services into their existing infrastructures and operations.

Photo: NicoElNino, Getty Images