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At Elevance Health, a leading health company dedicated to improving lives and communities, we are continuously committed to our focus on digital and platform technology to enhance consumers' spectrum of care. To gauge the role technology plays in keeping consumers healthy in a post-pandemic world, we commissioned The Harris Poll to conduct an online study of over 5,000 US adults age 18+ around virtual primary care.

The key takeaway: as digital health technology continues to advance and the healthcare industry evolves, many want the ability to use more digital methods when it comes to managing their health. Below is the summary of the poll and what we discovered. 

Familiarity with virtual primary care is divided.

While telehealth and online healthcare services are rising in popularity, understanding about virtual care is divided. Nearly half of people (48%) have heard of virtual primary care before and just about a third (32%) have used virtual primary care before.  For those who have used virtual primary care for their healthcare needs, they have commonly used it to manage prescriptions (16%) and establish general wellness/treatment plans (9%). 

People find virtual primary care appealing and those who use it, like it.

Nearly three-quarters of people (73%) like or find anything about virtual primary care appealing. For those who have used virtual primary care, nearly four in five (79%) agree it has allowed them to take charge of their health.  

Convenience and accessibility are among the top traits that people like or find most appealing about virtual primary care. The ability to chat with a doctor from wherever they are (35%), 24/7 availability (i.e., care which is accessible on-demand whenever they need it) (31%), and the overall ease of use (30%) are also appealing.

Individuals appear likely to use digital-first tools for healthcare in the future.

More than half of respondents (52%) say they would use virtual primary care in addition to the care they receive from their current primary healthcare provider within the next year. Additionally, most are likely to do so within the next two to five years (59%) and beyond the next five years (62%).

Many are interested in its use in years to come for services such as prescription refills (76%), referrals to specialists (72%), and addressing both non-urgent issues (67%) and/or urgent issues associated with chronic conditions (58%). 

Communication with healthcare providers is important and people want communication outside of visits and/or appointments.

Over four in five (82%) report they ever talk to their healthcare provider via phone, online portals, or text messages outside of or in between visits/appointments.

Efficiency and flexible scheduling of medical appointments, in general, are a must.

More than half of people say appointments must be run as efficiently as possible (54%), not be rushed so they have ample time to address their needs and concerns (54%), and have the ability to schedule appointments as soon as possible (51%). Additionally, half of respondents (50%) say it is a must-have to be able to easily fit an appointment into their schedule.

Telehealth and virtual primary care can offer an accessible solution for individuals looking to schedule a medical appointment in a quick, efficient, and flexible manner because individuals do not have to worry about travel time to an office and other factors in scheduling.


The research was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of Elevance Health among 5,009 adults age 18+. The survey was conducted March 3-21, 2022.

Data are weighted where necessary by age by gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, marital status, household size, household income, language proficiency for Hispanics, and propensity to be online to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 1.7 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the surveyed population of interest.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to other multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including, but not limited to coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.

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