Consumers optimistic about telehealthNews added by Benefits Pro on December 18, 2013

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By Kathryn Mayer

By most accounts, telemedicine is rising in popularity among employers and health care executives — and now it looks like consumers worldwide are in on it.

According to an Intel survey, 72 percent of consumers said they’re willing to see a doctor via telehealth video conferencing for non-urgent appointments. And half said they would trust a diagnosis delivered via video conference from their doctor.

This and other findings from Intel revealed consumers remain optimistic about health care – at least in terms of technology and innovation.

Some consumers are so optimistic about technology, in fact, that more than half believe the traditional hospital will become obsolete in the future.

These survey results, said Eric Dishman, general manager of Intel’s health and life sciences group, indicates “very high willingness of people to become part of the solution to the world’s health care problems with the aid of all sorts of technologies.”

“Most people appear to embrace a future of health care that allows them to get care outside hospital walls, lets them anonymously share their information for better outcomes, and personalizes care all the way down to an individual’s specific genetic makeup,” Dishman said.

The majority of people surveyed also believe technology innovation holds the best promise for curing fatal diseases — more than increasing the number of physicians or additional funding for research.

The study, “Intel Healthcare Innovation Barometer” was conducted across eight countries by Penn Schoen Berland in Brazil, China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Other findings from Intel include:
  • More than 70 percent of people globally are receptive to toilet sensors, prescription bottle sensors or swallowed monitors.
  • 66 percent of people say they would prefer a personalized health care regimen designed specifically for them based on their genetic profile or biology.
  • 53 percent of people say they would trust a test they personally administered as much or more than if performed by a doctor.
The latest survey is in line with other research on telemedicine. According to a report from market research firm BCC Research, the telemedicine business was worth an estimated $11.6 billion in 2011, up from $9.8 billion in 2009. Over the next five years, the market’s compound annual growth will reach an estimated 18.6 percent, with the telehospital and teleclinic segments estimated to grow at 16.8 percent during that time period.

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