Making decisions about healthcare is one of the most important in a person’s life. Many people are told that they have cancer or another life threatening illness and feel that they must make a decision and begin treatment as soon as possible. While this may be true in some instances, taking the time to learn about your disease, getting a second opinion or perhaps even a third opinion and weighing your options is a very reasonable approach. Proactive decision making will give you a greater degree of control over your treatment. Decisions regarding your health should be made after you have been thoroughly informed about your diagnosis, prognosis and available treatment options.
Many healthcare companies believe that, due to the sensitive nature of medical care, patients don’t want to use digital services except in a few specific situations; decision makers often cite data that point to relatively low usage of digital healthcare services. In fact, the results of survey reveal something quite different. The reason patients are slow to adopt digital healthcare is primarily because existing services don’t meet their needs or because they are of poor quality. Across all the countries in a survey, more than 75 percent of respondents would prefer to use Second Opinion services, as long as those services meet their needs and provide the level of quality they expect. Of course, nondigital channels will continue to be relevant and important, so digital channels will have to be embedded in a well-thought-through multichannel concept.
More than 75% of all patients expect to use second opinion services in the future.
One of the more prevalent myths about healthcare is that only younger generations want to use second opinion services, and therefore online healthcare would not reach many of the system’s core stakeholders. Surveys shows, however, that patients from all age groups are more than willing to use second opinion services for healthcare. The survey shows, that patients from all age groups are more than willing to use second opinion services for their treatment. In fact, older patients (those over 50) want digital healthcare services nearly as much as their younger counterparts. More than 70 percent of all older patients in the Asia and Canada want to use online second opinion healthcare services; in US, that number is even higher. There is a difference between the kinds of channels older and younger patients want to use, though. Older patients prefer traditional digital channels such as websites and e-mail, while younger patients are, unsurprisingly, more open to newer channels such as social media. A recent report from the European Union suggests that service type should be segmented by age; younger patients, of course, want access to health-promotion and prevention services, whereas older patients need information about services for acute and chronic conditions. But both groups seek information at the same rates.
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