With the ongoing pandemic, concerns about getting sick with Covid-19 are top-of-mind. But many people are also experiencing their own health challenges as they face closed doctor’s offices and difficulty getting needed medications.
According to a survey by data analytics company Evidation Health, a third of people said they had cancelled or were unable to get appointments in the last two weeks. Another 7% of respondents said they had been unable to obtain their prescriptions, or that they been attempting to make their current supply of medication last longer.
With some health conditions, patients reported more difficulties getting the medications they needed. 18% of respondents with rheumatoid arthritis and 13% with type 2 diabetes having difficulty getting their prescriptions. Hydroxychloroquine, one of the drugs that recently got emergency approval from the FDA to treat Covid-19, is also used to treat arthritis and lupus.
The results are based on responses from more than 88,000 people who accessed the survey through Evidation’s Achievement app, which rewards people for sharing step counts from wearable devices, sleep data and taking surveys. Evidation’s technology is also used with other virtual studies, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Heartline study, which tracks if earlier detection of atrial fibrillation using the Apple Watch can improve health outcomes.
The survey also had some interesting findings when it came to telehealth. For those who reported cancelled in-person appointments, 39% of them used some form of telemedicine. The remaining 60% didn’t try to get another appointment online.
A small portion of surveyed patients said that they were so worried about Covid-19, that they would avoid going to the clinic or emergency room for needed care not related to the virus. 42% of respondents said they were worried or very worried, while 10% said they were so concerned that they would avoid seeking care.
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