Americans Willing to Sacrifice for Mobile Access to Doctors

May 22, 2014
Laura Joszt

Mobile access to a physician is so important for some patients, they would be willing to sacrifice personal enjoyments for the convenience.

Mobile access to a physician is so important for some patients, they would be willing to sacrifice personal enjoyments, according to the results of a new survey.

The MDLIVE 2014 Mobile Health Index took a look at how Americans feel about having mobile access to doctors and found 54% of respondents who have a doctor have postponed a visit because it is too inconvenient.

The “Young Invincibles” are more likely than any other age group to delay an appointment. According to the survey results, 71% of that group (ages 18 to 34) has postponed and 82% of them say consultations over a mobile device are the best option for them.

Meanwhile 60% of those between the ages of 35 and 55, 54% of those ages 45 to 54, and just 30% of those age 65 and older have delayed an appointment because it is too inconvenient.

“The study demonstrates that telehealth is not just seeing a demand for access to quality patient care anywhere, anytime but that the industry is at an inflection point where adoption among the younger generations will drive demand among both consumers and young professionals entering the workforce,” Randy Parker, founder and chief executive officer of MDLIVE, said in a statement.

More than a quarter (27%) of respondents would be willing to sacrifice some personal enjoyments for the ability to always have access to their doctor on a mobile device. According to the responses, 13% would give up shopping for month, 9% would skip their next vacation, and 1% claimed they would give up their significant other if it meant complete mobile device access to a doctor.

If mobile device consultations were available, 35% say they would access their doctor while on vacation; 33% said in bed; 23% said at work; and 20% said riding in a car. Roughly two-thirds (67%) said some of the top benefits that would make telehealth the best option for them include lower the cost of the consultation (36%), no waiting rooms or cancelled appointments (36%), or shorter consultation times (34%).

Some of the suggested improvements from survey respondents on how their doctor can make their lives easier include: providing more affordable options or payment plans (28%); working with insurance companies for better payment processing (26%); being available 24 hours a day (26%); and providing quality patients care online (24%).