What is On-Demand Healthcare?

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Today’s consumers want everything now. TV, food, music, transport, clothes – you name it, people expect on-demand services to book, stream, order, and deliver it all to them with the tap of a smartphone.

From Netflix to Uber, the on-demand model has had a huge impact on how we consume services. Healthcare is no different. In this blog, we’ll explore what’s driving the trend of on-demand healthcare, and why it’s going to shape the future of how healthcare is delivered.

What is On-Demand Healthcare?

On-demand healthcare is where patients use and access healthcare services online in real-time, via mobile apps or websites.

This covers a broad range of services, from booking follow-up appointments on mobile apps to carrying out remote video consultations. But whatever the application, the purpose of on-demand is that patients can use these services instantly and easily, whenever and wherever they want, through smart mobile devices.

How can digital technology improve the patient experience? See our infographic  to find out.

Why is On-Demand Healthcare on the Rise?

Growing Patient Expectations

More than ever, patients expect their healthcare to be fast and convenient. 64% of consumers in England said their satisfaction with their healthcare services hinged on waiting times and appointment speeds. 62% said the convenience of appointment times was a top factor, and 60% said the convenience of the location or channel.

Increasing Acceptance of New Technologies

At the same time, demand for digital health services has increased rapidly in recent years, as patients have grown more willing to have smart tech play a larger role in their medical care. 52% would likely use a virtual health coach, for instance, and 45% would use an intelligent clinician to help diagnose health issues and find the right treatment.

“Driven by experiences outside of healthcare, consumers increasingly expect to use digital technologies to control when, where, and how they receive care services,” explains Niamh McKenna, England health lead. “By harnessing digital technologies in this way, healthcare will increasingly tap digital technologies to empower human judgement, free up clinician time and personalise care services to put control in the patients’ hands.”

The Impact of COVID-19

Like most industries, coronavirus has forced the healthcare sector to adopt new tech a lot faster than planned. In the pandemic, on-demand healthcare hasn’t just been a means of improving the patient experience – it’s been a necessity.

With lockdown restrictions, many patients who are vulnerable or have shown coronavirus symptoms have had to self-isolate at home. That’s left them with no other option than to use healthcare apps to have appointments with their GPs remotely.

The Benefits of On-Demand Healthcare Apps

On-demand mobile healthcare apps enable patients to access treatment without having to visit a doctor or even arrange a home visit. You don’t need to book an afternoon off work to accommodate for the time spent travelling to the practice or hospital and sitting in the waiting room. Instead, patients can book in a call for a time and place that fits around their busy schedule.

This significantly improves the patient experience. It’s a godsend in particular for patients who don’t live nearby their closest practice or hospital and would otherwise have to spend hours of their day making the journey to every appointment.

The fast, real-time nature of the service also makes it ideal in urgent situations. If a patient is experiencing acute symptoms, like a severe headache or high fever, they can quickly arrange an appointment on-demand with a doctor to receive instant support and advice.

The Future of Healthcare is On-Demand

Traditionally, the healthcare industry has been somewhat slow off the mark when it comes to adopting new technologies. But that’s starting to change.

Thanks to the increasing popularity of on-demand consumer services and connected digital devices, the days of delivering healthcare purely in-person will soon be a thing of the past. On-demand healthcare is here to stay. And it will be the key to providing the speedy and convenient experience that today’s patients expect.

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