The doctor is always in: increasing telemedicine adoption through increased awareness

Optimal’s latest research uncovers barriers to telehealth use.

One of the silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the widespread adoption of telemedicine. Telemedicine removes friction by providing patients with the ability to easily communicate with a healthcare professional over phone or video. Over the past 12 months, Optimal’s research reveals that nearly half (47%) of Americans have participated in a telemedicine session and enjoyed the benefits of chatting with a doctor or nurse from the comfort of their homes.

Beyond the convenience, there are numerous additional benefits to utilizing telemedicine.

  1. Research shows that telemedicine can substantially reduce the price of healthcare, particularly when it comes to chronic conditions and the costs associated with travel and hospital stays.
  2. By eliminating the limitations of geography, patients living in areas with lower-quality healthcare alternatives can now be evaluated by some of the country’s top doctors.
  3. Patients are also more likely to undergo regular wellness visits due the ease of access which reduces the risks of leaving some serious conditions unmonitored or undiagnosed.

The benefits of telemedicine also extend beyond patients. Studies have determined that telemedicine helps doctors and nurses avoid fatigue and burnout. It can also create incremental revenue for medical professionals, allowing for more patients to be seen and treated.

Telemedicine’s user base will continue to grow as the public becomes more aware of these benefits. According to data from Optimal's Aura Data Cloud — our proprietary panel of 2.5MM patients — 53% of adults have still not experienced a telemedicine visit with a medical professional. Their reasons vary from concerns about insurance coverage (28% of respondents) to the perceived difficulties of signing up (15% of respondents).

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to improve the adoption of this important medical option and encourage patients to get effective treatment more easily and at a lower cost.

Working with Optimal, hospital systems, insurance companies and other organizations can reach and persuade the 53% of Americans who haven’t yet tried telemedicine and encourage them to schedule appointments today. By leveraging data from the Aura Data Cloud, we can identify and reach patients who have not yet experienced telehealth service. With increased awareness and education, the opportunity to expand telemedicine’s reach is possible.

Optimal’s sophisticated audience modeling is made possible through the creation of the Optimal Health Cloud, a category-defining insights panel that uses AI-driven modeling and precision scaling to enable the creation of privacy-first, ultra-targeted audiences. Each of Optimal’s models are built using fully-permissioned seed data, enabling us to protect the privacy of patients while connecting clients with the exact people who need to hear from them most.

The platform, developed in collaboration with Dynata, the world’s largest first-party data and insights platform, empowers clients to reach across more than 250 individual patient condition segments and to easily create custom segments to reach unique patient and HCP audiences.

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