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Survey Finds Strong Support for Telehealth from Mothers

A Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia survey finds that Moms want round-the-clock access to healthcare for non-emergency issues, and they feel telehealth will keep their kids healthy.

By Eric Wicklund

- The best way to increase telehealth adoption is to get Mom’s approval.

A survey of more than 500 mothers by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and telehealth provider LiveHealth Online finds that every one of them wants round-the-clock access to doctors and other healthcare offerings. And almost 80 percent say they want to learn more about telemedicine to help deal with a non-emergency medical issue.

Moms see telehealth as a more convenient alternative to the doctor’s office. Almost 65 percent said it’s a challenge to take a sick child to the doctor’s office during the school year, with seven out every 10 mothers spending more the two hours out of a busy day on such a visit.

“Research shows that busy working moms can find it challenging to see a doctor when they need to address a non-emergency health issue” Debbie Diamond, a spokesperson for BCBSGa, said in a press release. “We understand the importance about how mobile technology is evolving and providing moms with new tools that help manage, track and access health information. Now, more than ever, women need access to information and technology that enables them to focus on health and wellness for themselves and their families.”

Surprisingly, just 54 percent said online visits with a doctor would give them more confidence to handle their family’s health or “would be like having a health security blanket.” That might indicate a reluctance to use telehealth for anything more than a common cold -  and help healthcare providers pitch the platform as an additional resource, or part of a larger care plan that includes in-person consults.

They do see value in telehealth, though. Almost 65 percent said access to healthcare-on-demand is more important than streaming video or food delivery, and 61 percent said health technology innovations would help their children live healthier lives.

And they are the experts: A full 82 percent of moms surveyed said they’re the most health-tech savvy member of the family.

“The results of this survey, plus the growing utilization of technology, reveal the importance of health-related tools for women and emphasize this increased need for healthcare to become more convenient when they are unable to reach their doctor’s office, especially with an anticipated shortage of primary care doctors, crowded ERs and continued rising costs,” John Jesser, LiveHealth Online’s president, added. “Moms in particular are benefitting from the merger of technology and health … because it allows them to get better access to doctors, be more efficient with time and keep their families and themselves healthy.”

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