A STUDY OF THE POPULATION’S ATTITUDE TO TELEMEDICINE TECHNOLOGIES ON THE EXAMPLE OF ONLINE MEDICAL CONSULTATIONS
Population and Economics 2(2): 78-109, doi: 10.3897/popecon.2.e36048
A STUDY OF THE POPULATION’S ATTITUDE TO TELEMEDICINE TECHNOLOGIES ON THE EXAMPLE OF ONLINE MEDICAL CONSULTATIONS
expand article infoIrina Kalabikhina, Dasha A. Matyushina§
‡ Faculty of Economics of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia§ Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), Vilnius, Lithuania
Open Access
Abstract
The new law “on telemedicine” requires the population’s participation in its implementation. The expansion of new methods of medical consulting should take place in a science-based context. The goal of this research is to educe the attitude of the population to online consultation. 50 semistructured interviews were conducted, analysis was used in analyzing the scripts. Main results are the picture of population’s attitude to online medical consultation, and the structure of the barriers to development of ones. The population understands the imminence of such a format, but relegates it to “not really medical” services and has a narrow interpretation of the scope of online consultation application – in terms of expanding access to services, but not in terms of improving the quality of diagnosis, for instance, in attaining a “second opinion”. Survey participants saw the advantage of this format in reducing the time spent and in leveling the territorial inequality in access to medical aid. Medical online consultations often cause distrust and anxiety (anxiety of inaccurate diagnosis, cost-saving at the expense of quality and fear of fraud). We have indicated three groups of barriers: patient and doctor availability, technical and regulatory availability of the healthcare system, and digital inequality in terms of age and geography. The respondents give the principal role in overcoming the barriers to the state, which reflects the general paternalistic attitude of the population in matters of health.
Keywords
Healthcare economics; telemedicine management; online consulting; semi-structured interviews; Russia