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BMC Health Serv Res. 2017 Nov 28;17(1):784. doi: 10.1186/s12913-017-2744-8.

Patient preferences for direct-to-consumer telemedicine services: a nationwide survey.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, 135 Cannon St., 405L, Charleston, SC, 29455, USA.
Department of Healthcare Leadership & Management, 151-B Rutledge Avenue, MSC 962, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA.
Department of Public Health Sciences, 135 Cannon St., 300, Charleston, SC, 29455, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, 135 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA.



Direct-to-consumer (DTC) telemedicine providers has the potential to change the traditional patient-physician relationship. Professional medical organizations recommend that telemedicine exist within the medical home. This study aims to understand patients' preferences and desires for DTC telemedicine.


We conducted a nationwide survey of 4345 survey respondents demographically balanced to represent the United States adult population. The survey consisted of questions assessing the respondents' attributes and their willingness and comfortability using telemedicine as well as the importance and desired attributes of a provider providing care via telemedicine.


Relatively few respondents (3.5%) had ever had an online video visit with their care provider. Respondents were more willing to see their own provider via telemedicine than unwilling (52% vs. 25%). Additionally, respondents were less willing to use telemedicine to see a different provider from the same healthcare organization (35%) and were least willing to see a different provider from a different organization (19%). Forty-one percent of respondents felt it was unimportant that their current provider offer telemedicine, and only 15% would consider leaving their current provider to a new provider who offers telemedicine as an option. More than half (56%) of respondents felt it was important to have an established relationship with a provider they're having a telemedicine visit with. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (60%) felt it was important for a telemedicine provider to have access to their health records.


Patients prefer to use telemedicine with their own doctor with whom they have an established relationship.


Direct-to-consumer telemedicine; Home telecare; Remote consultation; Telehealth

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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