Every Picture Tells a Story: Want and Need in Digital Medicine

COVID-19 has brought telemedicine to the forefront of medical innovation. Think of it as a digital return of the house call. But is there steak beneath all that sizzle?

“Consumers increasingly prefer digital channels across all healthcare-related activities, ranging from choosing a health plan, provider, and pharmacy to receiving the care they need and managing administrative actions and finances. In 2016, just over one-half to two-thirds of survey respondents preferred digital solutions to many of the activities they were doing across their healthcare journeys. In 2020, 70 to 80 percent of respondents reported looking to do those same activities digitally.

There is only one problem with that quote; overall, only 25% have used these tools. They are in for a surprise. If you are not convinced, think back to February and March, when many people tried to get vaccination appointments online. 

As the graphic shows, scheduling appointments seems to be reasonably useful. If you have used that digital function, it works reasonably well, except, of course, for those early COVID vaccinations. But that 55 to 70% gap between want and use for understanding costs and labwork should give us all a moment of pause. One last thought, when was the last time you thought of going to your doctor as a “healthcare journey?”



Source: How COVID-19 has changed the way US consumers think about healthcare Mckinsey & Company