Telehealth Statistics You Need to Know
Telehealth Statistics You Need to Know
Instead of sitting and biting your nails in the waiting room and driving long distances to meet your healthcare professional, an alternative presents itself as remote care. You and your doctor don’t need to be in the same room for you to receive your diagnosis. By using technology, we can close this imaginary gap, and doctors can deliver care while you sit at home and drink your coffee. But the benefits of telehealth are far and wide, so we will inspect some of the telehealth stats everyone should know.
What Is Telehealth?
We define telehealth as the delivery of healthcare services through technology. Although there are slight differences in meaning between telehealth, telemedicine, e-health, and digital health, all of these terms focus on enhancing health through technology.
While many individuals still do not rely on technology for their healthcare delivery, it is worth noting that, since COVID-19, the use of tech, which allows for remote care, has skyrocketed. One of the main trends in telehealth is its growing adoption, with forecasts that digital healthcare will become a multi-billion dollar industry soon.
Still, as an umbrella term, telehealth encompasses many different technological aspects: it can refer to remote patient monitoring, patient portals, electronic health records – the list goes on and on. It is important to examine the adoption and use of each tool and to remember to view telehealth solutions as an industry in its own right. Considering that people are increasingly turning to these solutions, either because they recognize their practicality or because COVID prevented them from receiving in-person care, creativity, and innovation in digital healthcare will only increase. So, let’s look at some of the telemedicine statistics.
The Size and Scope of the Telehealth Market
The size of the market was $41 billion in 2021, but it is expected to reach $224.8 billion by 2030. The compound annual growth rate is 18.8%, which means it is growing proportionally to the expanding use among the US population. As of 2021, the North American region constitutes 52% of the market, with the highest use reported concentrated in the United States. Telehealth trends show that people are more likely to rely on this technology following the COVID-19 pandemic, with 37% of adults in the US using telemedicine in 2022.
We can see slight differences in use among different subgroups of people. Women are more likely to rely on this technology (42%), with men using it to a lesser extent (31%). Additionally, the adoption of telemedicine increases with age: telehealth stats show that 43% of adults aged 65 and older rely on this tech. In comparison, roughly 30% of adults aged 18-29 saw the utility of relying on this tech in 2021, but this number will change as they grow older.
We can also observe differences in what people use telehealth for: 69% of respondents to a study said that they would use telemedicine for common illnesses/infections as opposed to:
- 66% who reported follow-up visits
- 49% reported talk therapy
- 44% reported management for a chronic condition
- 24% reported specialist visit
Telelealth statistics show that not everyone reported the same level of user satisfaction, with 42% of users saying they were extremely satisfied while 36% were somewhat satisfied. Some users are not fully satisfied with this technology: 16% were neutral, 4% were unsatisfied, and 2% reported being highly dissatisfied with the service.
The cost of telehealth is relatively high for providers, but ROI is undeniable. Even though medical professionals must invest in wearables and telehealth equipment, this technology ultimately allows them to take in more patients and improves their bottom line. That said, telemedicine use decreases the cost for patients: virtual visits for acute respiratory infection is, on average, around $80, while the same in-person visit is closer to $150. When covered by insurance, telehealth drastically reduces patient costs: 62% reported paying $1 to $30 for a telehealth visit, while 60% reported that insurance or Medicare paid for their medical bill.
Telemedicine Use by Race
We can also observe differences in adoption among different races. While digital health aims to dissolve health inequity and offer everyone the same opportunity, adopting telemedicine solutions hinges on provider recommendations. Reports suggest that care providers recommend digital solutions to Hispanic and African American adults less than they do for other individuals in the states. That said, there is only a slight difference in adoption rates among different races in the US: telehealth utilization trends show that American Indians or Alaskan Natives have the highest use at 40.6%, followed by Caucasians at 39.2%. There is a bit of a drop among other groups of people, with 33.1% of African Americans, 33% of Asians, and 32% of Hispanic people using this technology.
Telehealth Use by Income and Education
Aside from race, there are socioeconomic factors that influence the adoption of telemedicine. According to NCHS, the adoption rate increases with higher education and income levels. For adults who make 400% of the Federal Poverty Line, we see increased adoption at 41%. However, that number proportionately drops for households with lower income levels: telehealth stats show that 33.1% of adults with family income less than 100% of the FPL rely on telehealth, as opposed to 32% of adults with income ranging from 100% to 200% of FPL and 35% of adults with family income ranging from 200% to 400% of FPL.
Similarly, the adoption rates rise with education levels: we see most usage among individuals with a college degree or higher, with 43.2% relying on this technology. Telemedicine stats show that 39% of people with “some college” use telehealth, while the number drops to 30.3% of adults with a high school diploma or GED. The lowest number comes in for people with “less than a high school diploma” at 28.7%.
Use of Telemedicine According to Urbanization
Urbanization is another factor that influences the adoption of telehealth. Remote care is beneficial in areas that are geographically distant or for people with disabilities that would have difficulties reaching their care provider. That said, it is interesting to note that telehealth reliance is greater in the Northeast (40%) and West (43%). On the other hand, only 33.3% of adults living in the Midwest and 34.3% living in the South used telehealth services. Telehealth statistics show that 40.3% of adults living in central countries rely on remote health services, as opposed to 27.5% living in noncore areas.