- Before global pandemic, telehealth was more of novelty than necessity
- Virtual care resonating with patients; almost 88% want to continue using telehealth after COVID-19 has passed
- Earlier this year, ISWH launched TeleCare Home Health LLC, a wholly owned telehealth and home healthcare subsidiary
Even as COVID-19 appears to be subsiding in the United States, the impact of the pandemic will likely have long-lasting impact in many industries. An area of great interest to ISW Holdings (OTC: ISWH), a global brand management holdings company, is telehealth because the company has commercial operations in that space.
A recent Healthcare Finance articles reported that almost 88% of Americans want to continue using telehealth for nonurgent consultations even after COVID-19 has passed (https://ccw.fm/CPu5B). “Before the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth was more of a novelty than a necessity,” the article stated. “The concept of touching base with a doctor remotely was promising, but there were hurdles. Now, though, with many of those hurdles at least temporarily lifted — due to policy changes at the federal level — more consumers have received a taste of what telehealth is like. And most liked it, at least enough to want to keep using it after the pandemic has become a memory.
“That was the main finding of a new Sykes survey that polled 2,000 Americans in March on how their opinions on virtual care have changed within the past year,” the article continued. “And it comes at a time when most Americans have now experienced telehealth in some form: In March 2020, fewer than 20% had experienced a telehealth appointment. By March of this year, more than 61% had undergone a telehealth visit.”
The article goes on to note that numbers recorded over that same year suggest virtual care is resonating with patients. “A year ago, about 65% of Americans felt hesitant or doubtful about the quality of telehealth, and 56% did not believe it was possible to receive the same level of care as compared to in-person appointments,” the article observed. “Now, almost 88% want to continue using telehealth for nonurgent consultations after COVID-19 has passed, while almost 80% say it’s possible to receive quality care.”
The continuation of telehealth as an option in the medical care could be a boon to patients and healthcare providers alike. The survey reported some of the reasons patients preferred virtual visits. “A significant number, 61%, experienced telehealth for the first time because their physician’s office moved their appointments to virtual visits,” the article stated. “Twenty-eight percent said it was a convenient option for immediate care, while about 24% proactively asked their physicians office to switch to virtual appointments. About 18% made the switch after reading more about telehealth, 17% were persuaded by people they know, and 12% became convinced to try it after learning more about it from broadcast news.”
While telehealth was a popular — and common option during the pandemic, not everyone has had a telehealth experience. However, a vast majority of those who haven’t yet tried telehealth, more than 77%, say they’re more willing to do so, as compared to 59% a year ago. “Meanwhile about 40% feel that the quality is comparable to an in-person visit, a 9% jump from 2020,” the survey continued. “Further data details the extent to which Americans are warming to telehealth. Eighty-five percent say it has made it easier to get the care they need; 62% said they were afraid of going to the doctor, but those fears were eased during their telehealth visit; 51% say they’re able to see their doctor more often; 31% say their healthcare costs have decreased; and 31% feel their doctor comes across as more empathetic during virtual visits.
Finally, “three-quarters said they believe telehealth will become the norm for nonurgent medical consultations after the pandemic, and about 65% said they’d prefer to have parts of their annual physical done remotely,” the survey noted.
All those numbers point to good things for ISWH, as projections for the virtual care during 2020 looks to reach at least $29 billion in total healthcare services; the same forecast notes that up to $106 billion of current U.S. healthcare spend could be virtualized by 2023. “This highlights the high rates of adoption among both patients and physicians, and the impetus felt among providers to offer safe, secure and easy-to-use virtual services as demand for telehealth continues to grow.”
ISWH has already established itself as a technology, home healthcare and wellness company. Earlier this year, the company officially announced its launch of TeleCare Home Health LLC, a wholly owned telehealth and home healthcare subsidiary (https://ccw.fm/UpdCa).
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ISWHoldings.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to ISWH are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ccw.fm/ISWH
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