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Report: 62% of Americans prefer telehealth post-pandemic
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

As the pandemic wore on last year and changed how we approach even the most basic day-to-day tasks, non-emergency healthcare became a big question mark for thousands of people.

This was an especially fraught situation for those who previously relied on regular in-person doctor visits for their well being, leading many to make the false choice between risking COVID-19 exposure and seeking the care they need.

Fortunately, awareness of telehealth (ie. the virtual delivery of healthcare services like consultations, routine check-ups, and follow-ups) jumped 48 percent overall during the pandemic, as COVID-19 forced a rapid acceleration of the digital transformation already underway in the healthcare field.

These and other findings from a recent Telehealth.com survey indicate that like many changes thrust upon society over the course of 2020, new habits (like a preference toward telehealth over in-person) will be hard to break over the long term. According to the survey, 60 percent of Americans polled were familiar with telehealth offerings prior to the pandemic, even if they hadn’t used them yet.

Today, 65 percent of those previously familiar with telehealth and 59 percent of those who only learned of it during the pandemic now say they prefer virtual treatment to many of the in-person visits they’d have otherwise kept before COVID-19 hit.

And when you look at larger pandemic trends, this “new normal” for healthcare makes a lot of sense.

According to the 2021 AppNeta Work From Anywhere Outlook, more than 20 percent of Americans moved during the pandemic (with almost 6 percent moving twice). This indicates that many folks may no longer be within the same physical proximity to their pre-pandemic healthcare providers, making telehealth a given of many new post-pandemic lifestyles.

To that end, many Americans are now evenly dispersed among suburban, rural and large city/urban areas, according to the AppNeta Outlook. This calls for healthcare providers to put a renewed focus on striving to deliver optimal healthcare (both virtually and in-person) regardless of where their patents are located.

Telehealth success hinges on network, cloud solutions

Many of the same conditions that are essential to enabling users to work remotely during the pandemic are essential for healthcare providers to effectively reach those in their care. Healthcare IT professionals need to be able to bridge great distances, in some cases, to deliver virtual care, which hinges on both a robust network infrastructure out to users and next-generation cloud solutions to deliver these services at scale.

Fortunately, there are a number of factors at play that are enabling healthcare providers to deliver telehealth at scale and meet the expectations of a more discerning remote user base. For starters, the Biden Administration has pledged upwards of $100 billion toward expanding broadband access as part of a proposed infrastructure bill that’s designed to establish next-generation connectivity (both virtual and physical) between all Americans.

But it takes more than just access to the Internet Superhighway for remote users to enjoy the benefits of telehealth. Healthcare IT teams need comprehensive visibility across their newly decentralized footprints to ensure that all stakeholders involved in delivering treatment virtually—SaaS and cloud providers, data centers, healthcare facilities, last-mile residential ISPs, etc.—are connected and performing.

AppNeta deploys outside-in monitoring into the cloud environments delivering the business-critical applications and SaaS workflows that enable businesses to operate in a Work From Anywhere world. In fact, our ability to scale and meet the needs of our increasingly decentralized enterprise customers (including leading healthcare providers) has helped us win a slew of Customer and Cloud-specific awards of late, including the 2021 Cloud Computing Product of the Year from TMC.

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Filed Under: industry insights

Tags: healthcare networks, healthcare IT, network performance monitoring, network performance, work from home, work from anywhere, remote work, telemedicine, healthcare, virtual healthcare, remote healthcare, telehealth

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