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New Amwell Research Finds Telehealth Use Will Accelerate Post-Pandemic

·7 mins read

Virtual specialty and scheduled visits outrun virtual urgent care, indicating rapid shift towards a hybrid virtual care model

BOSTON, Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Amwell® (NYSE: AMWL), a national telehealth leader, today released the results of its annual Physician and Consumer Survey. The results show physicians and consumers expect to use telehealth more often following COVID-19 than they did before the pandemic. Telehealth usage is up considerably in 2020, with 22% of consumers and 80% of physicians having a virtual visit this year, up from 8% and 22%, respectively, in 2019. This adoption is largely driven by a shift to scheduled visits across all specialties, whereas prior to COVID-19 the majority of visits were for on-demand urgent care.

"We've long believed that patients want to see, and gain the most value from seeing, their own doctors versus any doctor when it comes to telehealth. The trends underscored by this survey indicate that indeed providers and consumers alike want to use telehealth for primary care, chronic care management, and specialty care of all kinds. This shift suggests the beginning of a rapid transition to a hybrid care model that combines both virtual and physical care settings. This is a welcome sea change that will enhance the overall care experience," said Ido Schoenberg, Chairman and Co-CEO, Amwell. "Furthermore, this survey reinforces the staying power of telehealth post-pandemic and calls upon the broader healthcare ecosystem to cement and sustain the hybrid healthcare model."

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Shift Toward Scheduled Visits: The shift toward scheduled visits and specialty care is one of the most pronounced trends in telehealth usage during COVID-19. During the pandemic, patients were far more likely to use telehealth for scheduled visits, especially with providers they already knew. Just 21% of consumers who reported having a virtual visit had an on-demand urgent care visit in 2020. By contrast, 54% had a scheduled visit with their primary care physician.

  • Rapid Expansion of Virtual Specialty Care: In 2020, 42% of consumers who reported having a virtual visit had a scheduled visit with a specialist they already knew, and another 13% had a virtual visit with a new specialist. Pulmonologists, cardiologists, surgeons, and many other specialists reported a sharp increase in telehealth adoption compared to 2019. The willingness of specialists to use telehealth also increased across the board in 2020, doubling for several high-volume specialties including radiology, cardiology, and surgery.

  • Expanded Willingness to Use Telehealth: The number of consumers who've had a virtual visit has nearly tripled since last year. What's more, 59% of consumers who've had a video visit had their first one during the pandemic, and 91% of patients reported being "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with the visit. Among providers, the percentage of those who have used telehealth nearly quadrupled since last year, and 84% said they were "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with one or more telehealth platforms. 96% of physicians said they were willing to use telehealth, with a sizable majority saying they'd be willing to use it for prescription renewals (94%), regular chronic care management check-ins (93%), and follow-up visits after surgery or hospital stays (71%).

  • Barriers to Adoption Still Remain: While many of the barriers to telehealth adoption have attenuated due to the pandemic, others have emerged and proven more persistent. During COVID-19, physicians most frequently cited technology challenges as a barrier to telehealth adoption at their organization (72%), followed by uncertainty around reimbursement (64%) and questions about clinical appropriateness (58%).

"As the data clearly shows, telehealth is going to play a larger role in patient and physician healthcare experiences going forward, blending both physical and digital models to ensure the best care," said Joe Miles, Managing Director, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Google Cloud. "With the Amwell and Google Cloud partnership, we are redefining the patient visit from an experience and effectiveness perspective by expanding access to virtual care while improving patient and clinician experiences with new, differentiated healthcare solutions across the continuum of care."

Amwell commissioned Dynata to conduct an online study among more than 2,000 adults, and commissioned M3 Global Consulting to conduct an online survey of 600 physicians—300 primary care physicians and 300 specialists—to measure consumer and physician perceptions and usage of telehealth. Both surveys were fielded in June 2020.

To view the full 2020 Physician and Consumer Survey and Whitepaper visit: https://business.amwell.com/resources/from-virtual-care-to-hybrid-care-covid-19-and-the-future-of-healthcare/

About Amwell
Amwell is a leading telehealth platform in the United States and globally, connecting and enabling providers, insurers, patients, and innovators to deliver greater access to more affordable, higher quality care. Amwell believes that digital care delivery will transform healthcare. The Company offers a single, comprehensive platform to support all telehealth needs from urgent to acute and post-acute care, as well as chronic care management and healthy living. With over a decade of experience, Amwell powers telehealth solutions for over 2,000 hospitals and 55 health plan partners with over 36,000 employers, covering over 80 million lives. For more information please visit https://business.amwell.com/.

American Well, Amwell, and The Exchange are registered trademarks or trademarks of American Well Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements about us and our industry that involve substantial risks and uncertainties and are based on our beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to us. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release, including statements regarding our future results of operations, financial condition, business strategy and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "will," or "would," or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements represent our beliefs and assumptions only as of the date of this release. These statements, and related risks, uncertainties, factors and assumptions, include, but are not limited to: weak growth and increased volatility in the telehealth market; inability to adapt to rapid technological changes; increased competition from existing and potential new participants in the healthcare industry; changes in healthcare laws, regulations or trends and our ability to operate in the heavily regulated healthcare industry; our ability to comply with federal and state privacy regulations; the significant liability that could result from a cybersecurity breach; and other factors described under 'Risk Factors' in the prospectus for our IPO filed with the SEC. These risks are not exhaustive. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Further information on factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated by our forward-looking statements is included in the reports we have filed or will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings, when available, are available on the investor relations section of our website at investors.amwell.com and on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.

Media Contact:
Holly Spring
press@amwell.com
781.888.8219

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SOURCE Amwell