Examination of social determinants in telehealth use shows inequities and advantages developing among groups, potentially impacting health outcomes

Overall usage of telehealth fell to just 14% of total population in July from more than double that in March.
05 October 2020

New York, NY, October 5, 2020 – An examination of social determinants shows significant differences in telehealth usage among groups, potentially impacting their health outcomes.

The analysis, by Kantar Health’s Social Determinants of Telehealth monitor, indicates that telehealth usage overall has dropped by more than half since the week of April 6th, when more than a third of the total population had an encounter. That percentage fell to 14% by the week of July 20th. Overall, women have continued to use telehealth more than men, with 16% reporting an encounter during the week of July 20th, the most recent period reported, compared to just 12% of men.

The examination of social determinants has also uncovered significant inequities developing for groups as well as advantages emerging for others.

For example, pre-COVID, obese patients used telehealth more than all other weight classes. Since COVID, however, the group has consistently lagged in use of telehealth. Since those with weight issues have significantly more chronic diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, Kantar Health says the decrease in use could indicate the group is not sufficiently managing their health and may be at risk of exacerbating conditions.

Conversely, Hispanic patients are making greater use of telehealth, providing distinct advantages. Kantar Health says Hispanic patients traditionally have been less adherent with their chronic disease medications. This cohort, however, is now using telehealth much more frequently than any other ethnicity. Kantar Health says such telehealth usage will encourage better adherence to chronic disease medications, leading to an increase in positive health outcomes.

“During this global pandemic, we feel an immense responsibility to use our resources to improve patients’ access to quality healthcare. Telehealth can be a driving force to reach all populations. However, it won’t happen by accident. Studies like our Social Determinants of Telehealth monitor will help to uncover the truths – both inequities and advantages. We must shine on a light on these truths,” says Lynnette Cooke, Global CEO of Kantar Health.

The Social Determinants of Telehealth monitor is being updated monthly and is available publicly via an interactive dashboard at http://info.kantarhealth.com/social-determinants-telehealth.

About Kantar Health

Kantar Health, a division of Kantar, provides data, analytics and research to the life sciences industry. As real-world evidence and commercialization partners, Kantar Health enables clients to bring safe and effective treatment to patients around the world. The team has expertise across a myriad of therapy areas, including unique thought leadership in oncology and rare diseases. For more information on how to optimize commercial launch plans, demonstrate real-world effectiveness and safety, and build ongoing value substantiation to unlock your full potential, visit www.kantar.com/north-america/expertise/health. Kantar helps clients understand people and inspire growth.