Advances in telehealth have often been presumed to provide greater access to healthcare for patients in rural communities that may be underserved by healthcare providers. However, a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that virtual healthcare visits are actually more popular with residents of urban areas. USDA researchers looked at data from 50,000 households that were home to more than 130,000 individuals who participated in the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 Current Population Survey. They found that rural residents are simply not as receptive to remote health services as city dwellers. The same goes for accessing health information; just 17% of rural residents said they have researched health information online, compared with 20% of urban residents. Only 7% said they would even communicate with practitioners, access records, or pay bills online (vs 11% of urban residents). In general, individuals who are better educated and who have a higher household income were more likely to use telehealth services.
It Turns Out Telemedicine May Be More Appealing to City Folk