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Virtual care visits will be conducted through the connected camera on the television
While telemedicine usage may not still be at the same levels it was during the early days of the pandemic, it is still being widely accessed, with 37% of adults accessing care via telemedicine in 2021, including 42% of women and 31.7% of men.
The primary methods for accessing telemedicine, of course, are either through a computer or a mobile phone, which can mean needing to download new software and/or issues with the connection.
To help solve at least some of these issues, virtual primary care provider HealthTap this week announced a partnership with Samsung that will allow patients to conduct their virtual healthcare visits through their Samsung Smart TVs.
Patients will be able to connect to HealthTap’s healthcare platform, and visit with a doctor of their choice, through the connected camera on the television. Consumers can also review the doctor's bio, credentials, and video interviews, and schedule an appointment within the same week.
Founded in 2010, HealthTap provides its members access to a long-term primary care doctor who can orchestrate all their ongoing health needs. Patients pay $15 per month to get access to free texting with their doctor, $39 video appointments, and $59 visits for 24/7 urgent care. HealthTap also has a network of 90,000 volunteer U.S. doctors across 147 specialties who can give parients free informational answers to health questions.
The company serves tens of millions of consumers online and provides thousands of doctor visits.
“Developing a primary care relationship is critical for all Americans, and the ability to conveniently access telemedicine through a TV screen empowers everyone to take care into their own hands,” Sean Mehra, CEO and founder of HealthTap, said in a statement.
“Together with Samsung, we are leveraging the simplicity and power of technology to make it easier for Americans to get the healthcare they need without the worries of transportation, work conflicts or lack of available physicians in their area.”
In the press release for this announcement, it was noted that one group that would benefit from HealthTap's partnership with Samsung would be seniors, "as they have a larger propensity to health risks and need proactive and consistent care management."
The data backs that up: according to a report from the CDC, using 2021 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data, seniors are actually the age group most likely to use telemedicine services, with 43.3% of those over 65 having used it in 2021, compared to 29.4% of those aged 18 to 29, 35.3% of those aged 30 to 44, and 38.9% of those aged 45 to 65.
Other groups that are still seeing high telemedicine usage include non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native community, 40.6% percent of whom used it, while the same can be said pf 39.2% of Non-Hispanic whites, 33.1% of non-Hispanic Black people, 32.8% among the Hispanic population, and 33% of non-Hispanic Asians.
There was also high usage from adults living in the West, with 42.4%, followed by those in the Northeast with 40%, while 34.3% of adults living in the South used these services, and 33.3% of those living in the Midwest.
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