Has perception towards telemedicine changed?

Telehealth is slowly being accepted. Clifton Leaf a ‘Fortune’ journalist says American painter, Norman Rockwell’s depiction of family physicians led to creating a particular image in the mind of Americans; white smock, stethoscope with kind eyes and infinite patience. This might be the reason why telemedicine is not living up to the hype.

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He says in this digital age why do patients still visit doctors in their clinics and insist on in-office visits when the care is available virtually?

Studies have been conducted comparing the quality of virtual care to in-person care. In 2015 Cochrane report found telemedicine gives similar or rather better outcomes. A study conducted by the San Marcos based Texas State University researchers shows that telemedicine positively impacts patient satisfaction.

Despite its benefits patients are reluctant to use it and payers are more resistant to reimburse. But, this seems to be changing. Recently, Humana acquired telemedicine company, Doctor on Demand with the aim to offer quality care choices at a lower cost.

An unpublished study, presented at June’s America's Health Insurance Plans expo in San Diego and reviewed by Mr. Leaf has revealed that telemedicine consultations cost $38 as compared to $114 for face-to-face visits.