A new survey shows that two out of three patients in the United States would prefer telehealth for certain types of consultation with their doctors.

It is part of a growing trend towards acceptance of e-health services by both patients and doctors. Other popular services include online booking portals and the use of fitness tracking devices.

The study was carried out for eClinicalWorks by Harris Polls. The survey of 2000 adults has global significance as US patients are often early adopters of worldwide movements.

What patients say

    1. 84% of respondants said their doctors offered online patient portals with access to health data. Patients over the age of 55 (61%) were more likely to use this tool compared to those between 18 and 54 (45%)
    2. More than three out of five adults (64%) would choose telehealth over traditional visits for certain types of consultation: for example: routine checkups for eye infections or skin conditions.
    3. Three out of five patients said they would make appointments via an online booking portal if that were made available.
    4. More than a third (37%) of people who use a fitness tracker wear it every day.
    5. 78% of those who wear fitness trackers more than once a month believe it is useful for doctors to have access to their data.

What doctors say

    1. Three out of four doctors (75%) considered electronic health records to be a good way for allowing patients to access their health information and exchange this information with other doctors.
    2. More than half of physicians (56%) believe a booking portal makes life easier for patients because it allows them to book or change an appointment quickly without going via secretarial staff.

What doctors who actively use e-health services say

  1. 67% of doctors noticed a significant improvement in communication with patients since adopting new communication technologies.
  2. The 61% would recommend remote tele-health consulations in certain circumstances.
  3. More than half of doctors thought it useful for patients to have access to selected health data through a portal.
  4. More than half of doctors thought that allowing patients to choose e-health tools on a voluntary basis was a useful way of improving the patient care experience.