Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Americans are more willing in the wake of the coronavirus to share their medical data in order to take advantage of the benefits of telemedicine.
Why it matters: For telemedicine to succeed, patients have to be open to sharing possibly sensitive personal health information online — and the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic seem to have helped lower that bar.
What's happening: A new survey released by Deloitte this week examined health care consumers attitudes toward virtual medicine, both before and during the pandemic.
- Deloitte found that consumers using virtual doctors visits rose from 15% in 2019 to 28% in April 2020, mirroring a massive increase in the use of telemedicine during the early months of the pandemic lockdown.
Details: The most notable result was consumers' increased willingness to share their health data — a reversal of the skepticism that had been growing before the pandemic.
- 71% of consumers said they would share personal heath data with a health insurer, up from 65% before the pandemic.
"There's an increasing awareness among consumers that if they share data, they can get more value and more insights from it."— David Betts, principal in Deloitte's Life Sciences and Health Care practice
The bottom line: If virtual health care shows that it can directly benefit health care consumers — as it largely has during the pandemic — data privacy worries may recede.