Virtual healthcare has taken off in 2020 due in large part to the coronavirus pandemic. And while the catalyst for the surge in interest and use of digital health was something negative, it’s growing importance in how healthcare is delivered could benefit patients for years to come. We've put together a list of the top trends in the industry according to experts who predict a strong future for this frontier of healthcare.
The pandemic made telemedicine a necessity. This image shows the dramatic surge in consumer interest that occurred soon after the pandemic hit the U.S. in March. As states and cities went into different levels of lockdown and the world began limiting their outings, reaching doctors virtually became critical.
Now, consumers want more of it. If you wanted to visit the doctor in the early weeks and months of the pandemic, you had no choice but to see a doctor virtually. But now that it’s efficiency, usefulness, and accessibility have been proven to consumers, more than three-quarters of people want to keep using it.
That means it’s likely here to stay. As the economy opened back up and we learned more about the power of masks to stop the spread of the virus, providers opened their doors to socially distanced waiting rooms and new protocols. Virtual care visits dropped, but then plateaued at a much higher rate than pre-pandemic. Experts say this new base level is the launching pad for an industry boom.
And it’s likely going to grow. In May, the year-over-year growth of the industry hit a five-year high. And that growth has been sustained since by an increase of 150% for the average weekly year-over-year sales growth. Now that virtual medicine has achieved proof of concept, experts project the growth of the industry to be steady and strong over the next six years.
Employers can be at the forefront of digitally delivered medical care. As we approach the end of 2020—and open enrollment is in full swing—a significant majority of employers see it as a one of the key ways health care will be delivered to their employees.
To experience the benefits of digital healthcare yourself, download the Amazon Care app today to speak with a doctor, nurse or nurse practitioner in minutes.