COVID-19 has transformed American views on healthcare

By William Girling
A recent survey conducted by healthinsurance.com found that US citizens’ perceptions of healthcare have altered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic...

A recent survey conducted by healthinsurance.com found that US citizens’ perceptions of healthcare have altered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using a sample of over 1,000 Americans across a variety of ages (18-64) and backgrounds, the survey has brought insights into healthcare technology, economics, health in general and a variety of other topics.

In general, 48% of participants reported that their approach to healthcare has been changed by the pandemic and 72% stating they have been more conscious of their health overall.

Healthcare technology

The survey indicates that one of the positives to result from the pandemic has been the technological advancement or digitalisation of many aspects of healthcare.

Automated chatbots, video appointments, cleaning robots and telemedicine are all developments which were implemented due to expediency but which have the potential to transform healthcare now that they’re established.

77% of participants would consent to a device which measured the onset of early symptoms or tracked the health of those already diagnosed with coronavirus.

54% have experienced some form of automated service regarding healthcare.

27% used video conferencing applications to virtually visit relatives in hospital.

Social effects

Healthinsurance.com reports that attitudes towards working from home and taking time off work due to illness have been generally more positive, although the overall feeling of those surveyed was negative: 78% reported experiencing anger, frustration and sadness.

This could be accounted for by difficulty in adjusting to social distancing, financial strains, unemployment and other factors.

88% continue to practice social distancing.

31% believe that working from home has, overall, been a positive experience for their wellbeing.

25% have not sought help or advice regarding their mental health.

The economy

One of the most profoundly disruptive aspects of the pandemic has been the economic impact: 20.5mn jobs were reportedly lost in April 2020, marking one of the worst downturns since the Great Depression.

As such, the survey found this to be a primary concern for Americans, who worry that financial strains may compromise their health and wellbeing.

66% believe that testing should be mandatory before people are allowed back to work.

60% don’t know what their health insurance options would be if they were to lose their jobs. The same number of people didn’t know if they had sufficient means to pay for COVID-19 treatment if they required it.

41% are struggling to make ends meet.

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