Healthcare is one of the most important facets of society we frequently rely on. However, the COVID-19 pandemic showed us how vulnerable the country’s healthcare system can be when overloaded. The need for technological transformation is all too apparent, but several areas are already seeing tangible change.
These innovations and accelerated processes have allowed new technologies to flourish. This includes using mobile apps that offer patient services and video appointments that can take place in the comfort of a patient’s home.
A Global Trend
These new healthcare options provide patients with different ways to seek help, relieving some of the stress the healthcare system has faced since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But new options can also breed competition.
Change is happening around the globe, not just in the UK. In April 2020, 43.5% of all US Medicare primary care visits were via telehealth compared to just 0.1% before the pandemic. This includes phone calls, emails and video visits. During the same period, video consultation services in France rose from 40% to 100%.
In May 2020, 14% of Canadians said they would prefer a video visit over an in-person one. In August 2020, 68% of people said they’d feel comfortable or very comfortable attending online appointments in the UK. While many GPs offer telehealth in addition to their regular services, there’s no denying this convenience creates more competition among healthcare providers.
The future of healthcare will likely revolve around improving these aspects using technology — here are 20 statistics that illustrate this point.
Adopting new healthcare technologies offers patients more ways to get the right level of care when needed. These technologies have also paved the way for more transparency and convenient access to information such as test results and patient data.
1. 3 out of 4 patients said they've used a patient portal. (MGMA)
Patient portals offer a secure and convenient way for patients to perform several general healthcare-related tasks. This includes accessing their personal health information, interacting with their GP and booking appointments.
2. Mobile health (mHealth) apps are on an upward trend on the Google Play Store. (Statista)
The number of mHealth apps on the Google Play Store has continued to rise. There are now over 65,300 mHealth apps as of Q4 2021.
3. Push notifications have been shown to improve health outcomes. (OneSignal)
Some studies have shown that using push notifications with mobile apps has improved health outcomes, such as the results of clinical weight loss programmes.
4. The number of appointments in general practice fell by 8 million between February and April 2020. (Nuffield Trust)
These numbers were likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it shows how crucial alternative healthcare options are when there are many people seeking help.
5. Phone, video and online appointments rose from 15% in February to 48% in April. (Nuffield Trust)
This fell to 36% in October, but it shows that moving away from face-to-face appointments and relying on remote technologies is here to stay.
6. Telehealth utilisation is 38 times higher than before the pandemic. (McKinsey)
Telehealth utilisation has stabilised at around 13 to 17% across all specialities.
7. Virtual care and digital health investment saw three times the investment in 2020 compared to 2017. (McKinsey)
This investment boost has fueled further innovation to improve patient experiences and create new technologies.
8. More consumers are using technology to monitor their health and share data more conveniently. (Deloitte)
Consumers are now using technology to monitor their health and measure fitness. They can use this data to receive notifications for prescription orders and explain their situation to GPs more clearly.
Patient Experience Statistics
New healthcare technologies are also driving positive patient experiences. Many patients aren’t just appreciating the new features and services they have access to — it’s starting to become an expectation, encouraging industry-wide changes.
9. 68% of patients say they prefer medical providers that offer online changes and cancellations to their appointments. (Accenture)
Offering convenient services like booking management can draw more patients to your Trust or practice.
10. 70% of patients prefer medical providers that use emails and text messages for preventive and follow-up care. (Accenture)
Similar to push notifications, emails and texts can remind patients of follow-up care.
11. 69% of patients would choose a medical provider that uses secure emails to communicate. (Accenture)
This statistic is up from 53% in 2016, showing the increase in people who are comfortable using technologies like email for healthcare purposes.
12. Most patients prefer fast responses and believe they’re essential to overall patient satisfaction. (Accenture)
This is true for most younger patients (GenZ, Millennials, GenX) and those who are 55 or older.
13. 43% of patients say waiting is the most frustrating aspect of a visit to their doctor. (Binary Fountain)
Patient portals and other technologies reduce wait times for booking appointments and receiving test results.
14. 68% of people said they would be comfortable or very comfortable attending online appointments. (ONS)
More and more people are starting to appreciate the convenience and effectiveness of remote appointments. However, those with a specific health condition or aged 70+ feel slightly less comfortable.
15. GP referrals to consultant-led care are now higher for remote appointments than face-to-face ones. (Nuffield Trust)
More patients can now access specialist care for certain conditions through remote appointments. This is likely due to GPs being more cautious of clinical conclusions in remote appointments, but it does mean patients can seek specialised care when needed.
Patients are also starting to use technology to educate and inform themselves about their health and various medical conditions. This desire for knowledge has also sparked a trend among healthcare providers to offer more transparency regarding billing and costs.
16. Around 75% of the UK population uses the internet for health information. (Deloitte)
Most of the UK uses the internet to seek health information, signalling a transformation in how we access health advice.
17. 23% believe the most important use of health apps is to provide information on symptoms and medical conditions. (Deloitte)
Patients are starting to become more self-sufficient when analysing their health conditions.
18. 69% of patients believe trustworthy and accurate information can convince them to use healthcare apps more regularly. (Deloitte)
GPs that build a positive reputation can expect a boost in patient satisfaction when using new technologies.
19. 65% of patients say cost transparency is vital to their overall satisfaction. (Accenture)
Transparency can be solved by clearly showing costs and automated calculations with healthcare technology.
20. 45% of patients believe healthcare professionals fail to assist when managing financial responsibilities. (HealthPay24)
Technological solutions can be developed to help patients clearly understand how much they need to pay and the options available to them.
The healthcare industry is changing fast and patient retention has become a serious concern for all GPs and Trusts. One way to measure your success in this area is to focus on creating positive patient experiences. This involves offering better care, providing better services and improving your overall reputation.
To help you do this, we’ve created a new patient experience guide.
A 4-Year Roadmap for Exceptional Patient Experience: The Insights You Need to Know
Our new patient experience guide highlights what you need to know about the patient experience and what the future looks like. From the factors that need improvement to who’s responsible for driving certain outcomes, download your free copy to ensure your organisation is ready to continue contributing to positive change.
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