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Six out of ten Poles have used a teleconsultation service in the last three months, according to a PMR study presented at the PMR In-Sector Insight meeting: “Telemedicine – patient expectations and market development in 2020 and 2021” which took place on 25 February.
Rapid expansion of teleconsultations in 2020
For the purpose of the meeting PMR conducted a survey on a representative nationwide sample of 1,000 adult Poles. The survey showed that a significant percentage of the population – 6 out of 10 Poles – have had a consultation via telemedicine solutions in the last 3 months. The survey did not differentiate between responses for private and public services.
When it comes to monitoring vital functions, 10% of Poles admit to having used such a service. Included here are services that were ordered by a doctor or possibly another medical professional and coordinated by a healthcare facility, as well as responses from those who used cell phone applications and smartwatches.
Noteworthy is the fairly high percentage of indications for telerehabilitation (7%) – in this case, men, people under 34, and those with the highest incomes were most likely to use such a service.
Overall, indications for all types of services were higher than in March/April 2020, when PMR conducted a similar study. Thus, it appears that telemedicine has become an everyday reality. However, it is worth noting that only 14% of respondents reported no problems with using telemedicine services.
Demographic profile of people using telemedicine
The age factor no longer differentiates access to teleconsultation. Back in April 2020, older people were the most likely to use teleconsultation – this was due to the fact that these people could not postpone visits and were already frequently contacting doctors by phone at the start of the pandemic. Today, people of all ages use teleconsultation just as often.
Women (70%) are more likely to use teleconsultation than men (58%), which is associated with greater concern for health among the sexes. People from smaller towns are more likely to use this service than residents of cities with population over 500,000. This is due to poorer access to stationary facilities. Due to greater health awareness, people with higher education are more likely to use teleconsultation.
The meeting also featured the latest estimate of the private medical services market for 2020 and the forecast for 2021, prepared by a team of PMR analysts and econometricians. The event participants also learned about the value of the telemedicine services market in 2020 and the forecast for 2021 as well as patients’ expectations regarding telemedicine – based on the results of a PMR study.
More information about the private healthcare market and the telemedicine services market in Poland can be found in the PMR report “Private healthcare market in Poland 2021. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2021-2026” and at the PMR industry event II Private Healthcare Forum 2022.