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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.

Go deeper

Nov 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

California governor and family in quarantine after coronavirus exposure

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted late Sunday that he and his family are quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19.

Details: Newsom said they learned Friday that three of his children had come into contact with a California Highway Patrol officer who tested positive for the coronavirus. "Thankfully, the entire family tested negative today," Newsom said.

Operation Warp Speed leader: COVID vaccine push is "isolated from a political environment"

Moncef Slaoui in the Rose Garden on Nov. 13. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Moncef Slaoui, the White House's top scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed, told Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the Trump administration's efforts to accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine is "isolated from a political environment" and that a change in administration "doesn't, frankly, make a difference" on its efficacy.

Why it matters: Slaoui told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that he has not yet had contact with Joe Biden's transition team, as the president-elect prepares to inherit one of the country's biggest crises ahead of an expected vaccine distribution effort that would require massive logistical cooperation between states and the federal government.

Updated Nov 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Kelly Loeffler to return to campaign trail after 2nd negative test

Sen. Kelly Loeffler addresses supporters during a rally on Thursday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Monday that she "looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail" after testing negative for COVID-19 for a second time, following earlier conflicting results.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.