In-Person Medical Visits Remain Top Choice Amid Overloaded Hospitals, But Virtual Care Gains Traction

Never has understanding and accessing medical care and testing seemed more important than during the current global COVID-19 pandemic.

Using Feedback Loop, we asked more than 400 adults, ages 18–75, about their knowledge and opinions of coronavirus-related medical care and testing. While most do not personally know anyone who has been tested for the virus, a majority of people say they know how to go about being tested.

Some key findings:

  • Most respondents either somewhat or strongly agree they know where to go and what to do if they need to be tested for COVID-19, though more males (42%) than females (26%) strongly agree. Among those agreeing strongly most frequently are those with household incomes higher than $100,000, those who follow COVID-19-related news, those whose lives have been impacted by COVID-19, those from urban areas and those with children.

  • When asked if they agree with the statement, “COVID-19 coronavirus testing is currently available to anyone who needs it,” males more frequently selected “strongly to somewhat agree” (44%) compared to females (28%). 67% of retired users “strongly to somewhat disagree.”
  • Most respondents would make a doctor’s appointment for screening/testing if they thought they had symptoms of COVID-19. Women said they would “monitor symptoms for several days before taking any action” more frequently than other respondents (females 36% vs. males 26%). Other response methods included visiting insurance or healthcare provider’s websites, searching online or looking to social media for guidance.

  • Most users would prefer to be “screened” for COVID-19 by going to a drive-through medical facility or by going to a medical facility or doctor’s office, while most users would prefer to be “tested” for the virus by going to a medical facility or doctor’s office. Even as U.S. medical facilities become too congested and healthcare workers too overloaded to take on anything beyond the most serious cases, people would still prefer to make a doctor’s appointment if they thought they had coronavirus symptoms.
  • 85% of respondents would be interested in being screened by video call if their health provider offered that service. It’s worth noting the increased likelihood that, as public health officials urge Americans to stay home and medical facilities pose health risks, healthcare providers and patients will begin to shift to virtual visits.

Want more information on Feedback Loop's COVID-19 research? Email Mark Pivinski at mark.pivinski@feedbackloop.com.

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