Did you know they have a digital doctor’s office? Did you know that it is possible to make a sick note by phone? No? Then you are not alone. A recent study shows Germans are open to digital health services. You just don’t know them.

There’s probably no one who voluntarily sits in a doctor’s office waiting room. Because even if you’re only there for a routine check-up, you never know what your sitting neighbor or counterpart is currently hatching.

Virtual consultation hours and telephone sick leave: digital health services are on the rise

It is therefore very helpful for many people that the Federal Government and doctors have jointly developed and approved numerous digital health services. This is particularly helpful for high-risk patients, who should urgently avoid unnecessary risks.

And even the average employee no longer has to sit in a waiting room thanks to digital consultation hours and sick leave by telephone. Doctors can thus help their patients much more efficiently. At the same time, the risk of unintentional infection or unintentional spread of viruses is reduced.

High acceptance of digital health services

So it is not really surprising that the acceptance of digital health offers is very high among the population. For example, 67 percent of Germans consider such offers to be useful. Among the 65 to 75-year-olds, the approval rate is the highest at 75 percent.

This is the result of a new study by the e-health company Doctolib. The market researchers from Appinio conducted a representative online survey on 22 and 23 May 2020. A total of 1,026 people between the ages of 18 and 75 were questioned.

Half knowledge and ignorance in the population

But while approval for digital health services is high, there is a problem. Many German citizens do not even know that they exist.

On the one hand, for example, just under half (45 percent) of those surveyed are not aware that there is the possibility of a digital consultation hour. Almost half (44 percent) are also unaware of the on-call service provided by the statutory health insurance companies.

On the other hand, 34 percent of those surveyed believe that prescribing a drug digitally is possible throughout the Federal Republic. However, this is not (yet) the case.

In conclusion, the survey therefore paints a split picture. While there is a surprisingly high level of approval among the population for digital health services, knowledge about the specific offers is patchy.

This is precisely where doctors, pharmacies, associations and the government need to take action and provide information. After all, the digitalisation of the German health sector can only work if as many patients as possible participate.