BOSTON, Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Massachusetts-based telehealth leader American Well has found that consumers vastly prefer the face-to-face interaction of video visits to telephone-only consults. In fact, consumers chose video for their visit 94 percent of the time. Of those using video, 60 percent did so using a mobile device, with telephone and secure messaging playing a role only when Internet access was limited. Doctors who treat patients via American Well report that they also prefer video consults over phone-only – mainly because it helps them better diagnose patients.
With American Well, patients can connect to a board-certified physician using the web or mobile app and experience a face-to-face video interaction, similar to being in the exam room with a physician. The HD quality of the video allows a patient to clearly present symptoms to the physician on the other side of the camera. Common issues such as viral syndromes, simple acute infections, skin conditions, medication management and wellness concerns can be diagnosed with visual cues that appear crystal clear through the video camera, enabling the physician to observe and treat the patient. Video technology also allows the doctor to perform a more comprehensive exam and consider additional symptoms such as distress, fatigue and inflammation, which may be clues to other ailments.
"The first thing I do when I treat a patient is I look at their face," said Dr. Peter Antall, President and Medical Director of the Online Care Group, which provides clinical services over American Well. "A person's facial expressions and body language give me an understanding for their overall well-being that could be missed over the phone."
Patient satisfaction with video visits on American Well is 97 percent, with patients giving the experience an average rating of 4.7 on a 5-point scale. This reflects both the excellent patient experience and convenience of the short wait time. Patients using American Well's on-demand telehealth service can see a doctor in an average of 2 minutes.
"The video part of the appointment played a big role for me," said Lindsay Kolowich, a young professional working in Boston, Mass., who recently had a foot surgery. Lindsay's follow-up visits were becoming too hard to fit in, given her daily work schedule at a new job. American Well was a great way to check in with a doctor when she had concerns about the speed at which her foot was healing. "I could see the doctor's face clearly on the screen, and it felt normal speaking to him over video because I'm so used to doing it with friends and family. When he [the doctor] asked to see the scar and observe movement in my toes, all I had to do was lift my foot up to my laptop camera."
Telehealth is a rapidly growing form of health care delivery. According to a report by HIS Technology, the number of patients using telehealth services worldwide is expected to reach seven million by 2018. It has been shown to reduce the cost of urgent care, often replacing emergency room visits.1 In addition, telehealth is convenient – helping consumers avoid a long wait for an appointment or overcome difficult travel to a doctor's office for acute care issues.
About American Well
American Well is a telehealth services company that brings healthcare into the homes and workplaces of patients. The Company's web and mobile telehealth platform connects patients and clinicians for live, clinically meaningful visits through video, supplemented by secure text chat and phone. American Well only provides video, phone and text consultations and treatment where allowable, and in the manner allowable, by law. American Well is a registered trademark of American Well Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used are the property of their respective owners. For more information, visit www.americanwell.com.
1Hochstadt, B. & Keyt, D. (2012) Online Care for Employers: Cost Savings Analysis. Mercer.
Julie Sculley or Dave McKee
SOURCE American Well