As the healthcare industry looks to take advantage of the benefits of telehealth, providers need to do a better job educating the public about the technology. Case in point: A new survey has found that an astonishing 41 percent of consumers have never heard of telemedicine.

The survey of 1,200 consumers, conducted by consumer engagement vendor HealthMine, “highlights a significant gap in understanding of this new healthcare technology,” according to the company.

However, when it comes to awareness and acceptance of telemedicine, survey results indicate that age might be a factor, particularly for the younger millennials compared to Baby Boomers. While only 37 percent of consumers age 55-64 said they would use telemedicine, 58 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds said they would do so. In addition, 52 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds believe they understand when it is best to use telemedicine versus just 34 percent of 45- to 54-year-olds.

Still, a separate nationwide survey of 504 U.S. adults conducted by TechnologyAdvice Research found that nearly 56 percent of consumers would be uncomfortable conducting a doctor’s appointment virtually and only about 35 percent of those surveyed indicated that they would choose a virtual appointment. And, approximately 75 percent of those surveyed reported they either would not trust a diagnosis made via telemedicine, or would trust this method less than an in-doctor visit.

Also See: Patients Are Still Skeptical About Telemedicine

At the same time, there appears to be a significant gap between providers and consumers in terms of their willingness to try telemedicine.

A nationwide survey of more than 2,000 primary care physicians found that doctors see value in virtual visits. In the online survey conducted by telehealth vendor American Well, nearly 60 percent of physicians said they are willing to conduct video visits with their patients. They cite work-life balance as the most popular reason for seeing patients over video, followed by increased earning opportunity, and improved patient outcomes.

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