If 2020 taught the healthcare industry one important lesson it is that patients are more open to using alternative care options, outside of hospitals and traditional medical settings, than ever before. This is evident in the xx% increase in telehealth appointments just in the second quarter of 2020. As the country has returned to a new normal, the way that patients are managing their care is far from the norm. With 70% of patients now prefer to do a telehealth appointment over an in-person doctor’s visit.
Over the past two years, more non-emergency related services have moved out of the traditional hospital setting and into local clinics and virtual medical facilities, leaving the future of healthcare yet to be determined. For example, recent McKinsey research found that 80% of patients are open to using a local clinic for non-emergency appointments rather than going to a hospital. As the popularity of 24 hour clinics, in local neighborhoods, have made healthcare more accessible and more affordable for a larger audience of people, the trend in “outside of hospital care” is expected to increase.
With more people open to receiving care in other medical environments, this opens the door for telehealth to dominate. If patients can get the same level of care, for a fraction of the cost as a hospital, and on their own schedule – it makes it a win-win situation for both the patient and the telehealth provider.
Here are the top three reasons why telehealth is well-positioned to continue to explode over the next 3 years.
- Ease of use. The only requirement (though a very important one) to participate in telehealth is access to the internet or an internet-enabled mobile device. However, with over 85% of the nation owning a smartphone, this technology hurdle isn’t hard to overcome. In addition, the convenience of being able to attend a medical appointment from the comfort of your own home is unmatched by any other traditional medical service.
- Reduction in cost. The lower costs are two-fold as it relates to the cost savings that telehealth services can provide. Patients are able to forfeit any transportation costs to travel to the appointment and medical providers can maintain a much smaller medical facility with fewer overhead costs as well. This can translate into massive cost savings across the board, for both the patient and the provider. For example, when analyzing home health aides for geriatric patients, telehealth services were able to save patients and their families in excess of $13,700 a year. Likewise, for emergency room visits, using telehealth instead can additionally save patients up to $1,500 per visit.
- Greater access. No longer are patients bound by distance to only using specific health providers. Telehealth enables people to go after the best quality of care, regardless of their geographical location and can ensure that patients have access to the specialists they need to help manage or treat their health conditions. This is especially beneficial for elderly patients who may have a hard time getting into a doctor’s office or who may need greater medical attention than what their local hospital can offer.
It is estimated that the telehealth market will balloon by some $XX billion by 2023. In order for telehealth providers to effectively “cash in” on this emerging new form of healthcare, having a robust marketing plan is a must. From the branding of your telehealth offering, to implementing a social media marketing strategy, even to how you position your telehealth services – every component of a thorough marketing plan must be thought through.
If you have not considered how to efficiently and clearly convey your telehealth’s offering(s) and/or key positioning, then it’s important now more than ever to partner with a reputable telehealth marketing agency. It is through a robust marketing approach that telehealth companies will be able to stand out from the oversaturated crowd and carve out a highly competitive advantage.