COVID-19 has resulted in the rapid uptake of telemedicine as physicians, across the spectrum of therapeutic areas, have sought to protect patients and staff while continuing to provide care. The universality of adoption suggests that increased telemedicine usage will endure beyond the initial stages of the pandemic.
With this in mind, it is becoming increasingly important that manufacturers develop an understanding of how treatment decisions are being made via telemedicine.
At ZoomRx, we have been gathering real, clinical physician-patient telemedicine interactions through our HCP-PT conversation research methodology. These conversations help us better understand the impact of telemedicine on treatment decisions and the physician-patient relationship.
Conversations we’ve collected help shed light on how physicians and patients are navigating this evolving treatment landscape. Here we delve into two topics of particular interest:
1) Generally, how physicians and their patients are managing the switch to telemedicine.
2) More specifically, how physicians are addressing COVID-19-related precautions with patients receiving immunomodulating therapies.
Managing the switch to telemedicine
Physicians and their staff are playing an active role in helping patients manage the shift to telemedicine. This role includes educating patients on the need for telemedicine instead of in-person visits. Physicians are also helping patients manage the associated technical components.A physician explains to their patient the steps their practice is taking to limit in-person appointments A physician coaches their patient on setting up telemedicine capabilities, suggesting they may want to ask their family for help
Another notable trend from these conversations is the extent to which physicians encourage patients to voice their questions and concerns during telemedicine appointments. When compared to in-person conversations, physicians appear to be slowing their cadence of speech and adding additional pauses to provide opportunities for patients to ask questions and express their preferences.
Addressing COVID-19-related precautions with patients receiving immunomodulating therapies
Physicians are connecting with patients via telemedicine to directly address concerns about the increased risk of infection due to their current treatment plans. During these conversations, physicians are weighing the therapeutic benefits of these treatments against this risk. They are also using this opportunity to reiterate the importance of taking precautionary measures such as social distancing to limit their risk of infection.A physician acknowledges the increased risk of COVID-19 but recommends continuing treatment A physician discusses the effects of an immunomodulating treatment and reinforces the need for precautionary measures to be taken A physician recommends that their patient avoid emergency rooms to avoid contracting COVID-19
Telemedicine visits as the “new normal”
COVID-19 has accelerated the rise of telemedicine and highlighted the benefits of virtual interactions between physicians and their patients.
At ZoomRx, we are continuing to gather telemedicine conversations to better understand the changes that telemedicine will bring to treatment decisions and the dynamic of the physician-patient relationship.
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