27 Oct Rally Health Surveys Americans’ Concerns and Challenges to Preventive Care
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Chief Product Officer
Rally Health, Inc., part of the Optum business of UnitedHealth Grou
MedicalResearch.com: Can you please elaborate on Rally Health’s mission?
Mr. Olin: Our founding mission 10 years ago and still to this day is to put health in the hands of the individual. As a digital health company, we live this mission through our focus in three key areas:
1) Providing digital-first access to care by giving individuals easy-to-use digital tools and support to navigate their health care and take full advantage of their health benefits;
2) Engaging people in their daily health by creating experiences that people enjoy and that inspire them to perform healthy actions, and by giving them access to resources that help them achieve their health goals;
3) Saving people time and money by providing digital tools that help them understand health care costs and guide them to lower-cost, high-quality care options.
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the “Preventive Care in America” survey? What are the main findings?
Mr. Olin: We’re always looking to better understand the needs of the health care consumer so that we can offer them the best possible digital tools to help them live healthier lives. Preventive care is an essential part of that, and we wanted to learn about people’s perceptions, concerns, challenges and behaviors tied to preventive care, their health in general, and in this moment, how it all relates to COVID-19.
We found that even though as a nation, we’ve made great progress in recent years in raising awareness among people about preventive care and its benefits, one in three still doesn’t have a good understanding of it, and 1 in 10 says they’ve never even heard of it.
What’s more, even among those Americans who think they have a good understanding of preventive care, the vast majority of them think of it only in terms of clinical care such as getting an annual checkup or a flu shot. Just 10% of Americans recognize healthy lifestyle behaviors related to, for example, their diet, and not smoking or misusing alcohol, as part of preventive care. And, alarmingly, only 1% think of care related to mental health, such as depression- and stress-management as part of preventive care.
This tells us that we need to work harder to broaden Americans’ understanding of preventive care. And we need to promote a more holistic approach to prevention, a whole-person approach.
Another finding revealed something of a silver lining in the midst of the pandemic. It turns out that COVID-19 has served as a wakeup call for many people to pay more attention to their health than they ever have before (43%). Forty-nine percent said it has made them more aware of their physical health, while 44% reported that the pandemic has made them more aware of their mental health. And for some, it’s not just awareness. COVID-19 has prompted many to take action, to eat more healthfully (24%), exercise more regularly (21%) and focus more on their mental health (21%), leading many among this group (43%) to report that they are actually more satisfied with their life now than they were before COVID-19.
MedicalResearch.com: How have Americans transitioned to telehealth services?
Mr. Olin: It’s no surprise that during this time, a lot of people (41%) have been nervous to go to a health care provider for fear of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Thirty-eight percent said they’ve missed their routine medical appointments and recommended screenings because of the virus. For many though, COVID-19 has been the catalyst to try telehealth. One in three have scheduled their first-ever virtual medical appointment (34%) and four in 10 are more willing now to have virtual appointments (vs. in-person) than they were before COVID.
For a third of Americans, this trend is here to stay. Further, those who are embracing telehealth services and likewise those using digital health tools, report significant rewards such as feeling more in control of their health and feeling more optimistic about their future health. And, this bodes well for the future of digital health services.
About the survey:
Rally Health’s Preventive Care in American survey was an online survey of 4,002 adults representing the general U.S. population. Data was collected between August 14, 2020 – August 26, 2020 by independent research firm Edelman Intelligence. The results were weighted to ensure demographic representation in line with the United States Census. Margin of error: +/-1.55% at a 95% confidence level.
Preventive Care in America
A Survey from Rally Health
Examines consumer perceptions, concerns, challenges and behaviors tied to preventive care, health in general, and COVID-19
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