Nearly two thirds of Canadians would consider using virtual health (vHealth) options in their own care or for someone they care for, according to PwC’s report: Making Care Mobile: Shifting perspectives on the virtualization of health care. The findings demonstrate that Canadians are ready for the virtualization of their care and strongly believe moible health and virtual health solutions will improve their health care experiences.
The report defines vHealth as health care professionals collaborating with their colleagues and with patients to deliver care remotely using technologies like video conferencing and digital imaging. mHealth is the use of wireless tools to deliver and access virtual care and health information using devices such as a smartphone, tablet or wireless medical monitor.
“Canadians are ready for the digitization of their care and the next wave of innovation for service delivery will need to put the patient at the centre of the solution,” says Will Falk , Manager Partner, Healthcare, PwC. “This means providing faster, more convenient access to care in the ways in which Canadians want it.”
The PWC report was conducted through a ‘Choicebook’, which took respondents through an interactive experience. Over a three week period, nearly 2,500 Canadians participated to address the central question posed in this project – What does the future of health care delivery look like? Participants learned about vHealth and mHealth, explored important questions related to the issues and thought through what services they would be interested in after being presented with some of the advantages, disadvantages and trade-off involves.
Almost half of Canadians believe that mobile health apps will make health care more convenient in the next three years. Participants concluded that faster access to care as the biggest reason, while cost savings for the health care system and fewer unnecessary appointments were other key reasons noted.
Survey participants indicated clearly that they value the convenience associated with improved access via virtualized service offerings. Nearly 80% of respondents said they would be comfortable using a virtual monitoring service for a chronic condition. Meanwhile, over two-thirds of Canadians suggested they would be comfortable having a post-surgical follow-up visit conducted via video conference.
Other key findings from the report include:
- 79 percent of patients said they would definitely, or are likely to , use an e-mail service with their doctor
- More than 80 percent of patients reported they would definitely, or are likely to, use online prescription refill services
- 84 percent of Canadians indicated they would definitely or probably use an electronic results reporting service for routine lab test results
- 59 percent of doctors believe mHealth is inevitable, but adoption will take time
- 52 percent of patients predict that mHealth improve access to care
- 46 percent believe mHealth will lower health care costs
See full report here