Millennials view virtual doctor’s visits positively: Study

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While most people across older demographics prefer a face-to-face meeting with their doctor, millennials are quite comfortable with virtual visits. They are also happy to see and accept more technology in the health care system according to a survey commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association.

The Ipsos survey, shows that young adults aged 18 to 34 are frequent users of the health-care system, reporting an average of at least 11 visits to a physician each year, as well as being the most eager adopters of technology to manage their own health.

The survey found respondents among the Google Generation would be more likely to take advantage of virtual doctor visits – 47 per cent would opt for at least half of their visits being virtual, compared to 38 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 and 31 per cent of those 55-plus.

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These young adults are more likely than Canadians in the older age brackets to use wearable technology such as FitBits or to use online apps to monitor their health status – 44 per cent compared to 28 per cent and 14 per cent for the other age groups, respectively.

Overall, seven in 10 respondents said they would take advantage of virtual physician visits, with many believing they would be more convenient as well as leading to more timely and better care.
About half of all respondents said they would likely wear a mobile device that would continuously monitor their health, keeping track of such vitals as blood pressure and heart rate, detect the presence of toxins in the environment and create a personal warning system when health measures are out of the normal range.

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Roughly 70 per cent agreed that incorporating more technology into personal health care could prevent illnesses and 64 per cent said that given a choice, they would go to a physician who incorporates more technology into their practice.

And while 60 per cent said they were excited about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in the delivery of health care, they would only trust a diagnosis if it was provided by a doctor.
Despite support for AI and technology in general, roughly two-thirds of respondents were concerned about privacy and protection of personal health data.

About the same proportion were worried about the potential loss of human touch and compassion as a result of AI and the digitization of heath-care delivery and the accuracy of diagnoses.
The first two days of that meeting will be dedicated to a health summit, which will include discussions about how to incorporate innovations in technology to improve health- care delivery, said Osler.

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The Ipsos Internet survey of 2,003 Canadians aged 18 and older was conducted May 16-18 and has a plus-minus 2.5 percentage point credibility interval 95 per cent of the time.

As technology develops, it will be a matter of time more and more doctors will embrace time-saving virtual doctor visits and time-challenged millennials may simply opt for this virtual visit, especially if they are sick in bed or on a tropical island. Of course, as long as there is reliable internet connectivity, this sort of virtual doctor’s visits will work to everyone’s advantage. -CINEWS

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