Fasten Your Seatbelts, It’s Wheels Up for On-demand Healthcare
During a time when other industries have been grounded, the telemedicine industry has taken off into the mainstream, fueled by the global health crisis. In an effort to assess the sustainability of this growth, we conducted a survey of 1,015 consumers across the U.S., at varying ages and income levels. As telemedicine emerges as one of the most transformative themes in healthcare tech today, we have identified multiple vectors that could further fuel growth for years to come, such as repeat visits, mental health, and chronic condition management. Telemedicine’s rapid growth is just one of many key contributors to the ROBO Global Healthcare Technology and Innovation Index (HTEC) year-to-date outperformance of +5%, compared to global equities, down -12%.*
First Time Telemedicine Use Has More Than Tripled Its Pre-Pandemic Run Rate
In a recent survey, we asked 1,015 consumers whether they have tried telemedicine at least once, and if so, when. Over half of respondents indicated that they have used it. We view this as substantial because only a few years ago, most consumers had not yet tried telemedicine. Of those who have used it, 52% tried telemedicine for the first time during the pandemic this year. This represents a more than three-fold increase in first-time telemedicine users during the pandemic, compared with 14% before the pandemic.
There’s No Going Back
One may wonder if this growth is just a static event driven by COVID-19 stay-at-home requirements. However, history has shown that once someone uses telemedicine once, there is a greater likelihood of that person using it again. For the last three years, Teladoc Health, a member of the HTEC Index, reported that the number of visits from repeat users was greater than the number of visits from new users.
Looking forward, we asked our respondents who have used telemedicine what their likelihood is of using it again. The vast majority (93%) indicated they would use it again, with 59% indicating that they were very likely to use it again.
Of the respondents who have NOT used telemedicine, 25% said they were definitely planning to try telemedicine for general visits. This, among other data points from our research, provides us with a high conviction that for most consumers, telemedicine is only just getting started, and that multiple vectors will fuel growth in this industry for years to come.
Healthcare is undergoing a rapid technological transformation. The ROBO Global Healthcare Technology and Innovation Index (HTEC) provides investors with exposure to this innovation, 80+ companies that we believe are leading the way across the fastest-growing areas of healthcare, including telehealth, genomics, precision medicine, robotics, and more. With HTEC, investors will be well-positioned to capture the upside of healthcare’s technological revolution for years to come.
*Data as of April 29, 2020