COVID-19 brought a massive jump in telemedicine visits—we’re talking a 154% increase in usage in March 2020 compared to the previous year, according to the CDC. Telehealth offers pros and cons, but one bet we’re willing to make is that telehealth is here to stay. According to eMarketer, by the end of 2023, there will be 64 million telemedicine users, as compared to 41.7 million at the end of 2020.
If your brand is considering integrating telehealth CTAs into your communications – here are some things to consider:
#1: How does your audience currently use telehealth?
– Age: 69% of telehealth patients were between 18-49
– Gender: 63% of telehealth users were female
– Geography and Income-level: Those in in rural and low-income areas are currently less likely to use telehealth
Knowing base usage and adoptions allows you to know where you need to meet your patients in their journey.
#2: Is telehealth appropriate for this product / condition?
While telehealth has its benefits, it comes with limitations. When messaging telehealth to your audiences, think about how and when they should use telehealth versus traditional care.
– What are the right types of visits for telehealth?
– Can my product be prescribed via telehealth?
-Can an HCP do a full / proper examination for this condition via telehealth?
– Will the patient receive the same level of treatment virtually as they would in-person?
Identifying the circumstances for your audience to use telehealth vs. traditional care allows you to use telehealth as a resource or CTA only if appropriate.
#3: What are your audience’s barriers to using telehealth for your condition / product?
While virtual options may be most beneficial to vulnerable audiences, such as older adults and patients in rural areas – there are going to be barriers to adoption for certain audiences based on current adoption level. This could include:
– Knowledge gaps – tech knowledge or coverage knowledge
– Socioeconomic barriers – lack of access to a device that allows for telehealth
– Lack of access – restrictions in broadband / insurance that covers telehealth
– Limited awareness/education – lack of knowledge that this service exists
– Privacy concerns – distrust in how your information is shared
Once you know what is standing in your audience’s way of adoption you can determine if and how you prioritize the barriers you can / want to address to help them adopt usage.
As telehealth continues to evolve, it’s essential for healthcare communicators to weigh the pros and cons it offers and speak to audiences specifically based on their willingness and ability to adapt.
How is your company/industry approaching telehealth?