Results of a survey including 2,301 US consumers released by Accenture suggests that consumers are becoming more accepting of machines having a significantly greater role in their overall medical care.
These machines, according to Accenture, range from artificial intelligence (AI), to virtual clinicians, and home-based diagnostics.
The 2018 Consumer Survey on Digital Health was conducted by Longitude on behalf of Accenture between October 2017 and January 2018. A total of 7,905 consumers age 18 and older from seven countries completed the survey to assess their attitudes toward healthcare technology, modernization, and service innovation.
The findings in the news release from Accenture relate to the 2,301 US-based respondents to the survey.
One in five respondents (19%) said they have already used AI-powered healthcare services, and most said they are likely to use AI-enabled clinical services, such as home-based diagnostics (cited by 66%of respondents), virtual health assistants (61%) and virtual nurses that monitor health conditions, medications and vital signs at home (55%).
Consumers are increasingly using a variety of digital self-service tools for managing their health.
In addition, 90% of survey participants said they are willing to share personal data with their doctor, and 88 percent said they are willing to share personal data with a nurse or other healthcare professional. Additionally, the percentage of consumers willing to share with their insurance carrier personal data collected from their wearable devices has increased over the past year, from 63% in 2016 to 72% today. They also are more willing to share such data and with online communities or other app users—47% today, compared with 38% in 2016. Fewer are willing to share data with their employer (38%) or a government agency (41%), the release explains.
Consumers are taking greater advantage of virtual services, with one quarter (25%) of respondents saying they had received virtual care services in the previous year, up from 21% in last year’s survey. In addition, one in six (16%) of those consumers said they are taking part in remote health consultations, compared with 12% in 2016, and 14% are participating in remote monitoring, up from 9% in 2016.
Three-quarters (74%) of respondents said they were satisfied with the virtual care they have received, with nearly half (47%) of those respondents saying that, given a choice, they would prefer a more immediate virtual medical appointment over a delayed in-person appointment.
Also, more than half (54%) of survey respondents said they believe that virtual care reduces medical costs to patients, and 43% said they like the timely care that virtual technology provides, the release continues.
The majority of healthcare consumers said they would use virtual care for a variety of activities, from e-medical visits to medical diagnosis and group therapy. For instance, nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents said they would use virtual care for after-hours (nights and weekend) appointments, 71% said they would use virtual care for taking a class on a specific medical condition, and two-thirds (65%) said they would use virtual care for a follow-up appointment after seeing a health professional in person.
Most respondents said they would also use virtual care for a range of additional services, including discussing specific health concerns with medical professionals (cited by 73% of respondents), in-home follow-up after a hospital stay (62%), participating in a family member’s medical appointment (59%), and being examined for a non-emergency condition (57%).
“Driven by experiences outside of healthcare, consumers increasingly expect to use digital technologies to control when, where and how they receive care services,” said Kaveh Safavi, MD, JD, who leads Accenture’s health practice globally, per the release.
“By harnessing digital technologies in this way, healthcare will increasingly tap digital technologies to empower human judgment, free up clinician time and personalize care services to put control in the patients’ hands.”
[Source(s): Accenture, Business Wire]