With AdventHealth first introducing their telemedicine app “eCare,” they anticipated it would instantly catch on. The app enabled patients to dodge the emergency room and speak to a physician via a screen instead. Going on three years later, patient reception of the app has been sluggish. Despite the blowout of telemedicine apps and aids in the past five years — which empowers patients with minor illnesses to make a video chat appointment — the utility of those services has not grown in popularity like medical professionals assumed. The main reason: patients are reluctant to give up an actual visit with a doctor.
The doctors working on the telemedicine app are equally surprised that the app was not accepted immediately after its launching. However, some patients are taking benefit of eCare. In 2018, more than 7,000 people downloaded and enrolled for the AdventHealth eCare services. The staff that manages eCare calls includes eight physicians who work in 12-hour shifts. On an average day, the company provides services for ten callers while the app offers services 24 hrs a day, seven days a week. In 2018, AdventHealth served nearly 255,000 ER visits in Volusia and Flagler counties.
Repeated calls for telemedicine apps like eCare comprise of upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, sore throats, eye infections such as pink eye, colds, and refilling medicines. The even cost of an eCare visit is $49, and AdventHealth does not take insurance outside of the hospital’s plan. Halifax Health Medical Center has a telemedicine app especially for their employees but has not made proposals to roll the app out to the public.
According to experts the most notable barrier telemedicine apps face is getting people pleased with the practice. The reason is that there is uncertainty among people to use the app because it is unknown. It seems obscure to a lot of people, but when they use it, they surprisingly like it and use it repeatedly.
Also there has been tremendous increase in the trend of enhanced confidence and awareness on behalf of customers to use their devices to experience the same outstanding care through AdventHealth eCare as they would with any other AdventHealth service. The company receives several comments every day from patients saying how comfortable and accessible it was to use AdventHealth eCare. Many patients praise about how fast they can be seen without having to leave their residence or work. In 2019, eCare is expecting to draw in more patients by improving its range of applications and working to expand it’s services to other states where AdventHealth excises including Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri, to name a few places.