Telehealth and Willingness to Pay for Internet Services

Maysam Rabbani, Cari A. Bogulski, M. Kathryn Allison, Hari Eswaran, Corey Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Telehealth is becoming integral to health care delivery, which may create a higher need for better internet. This is the first study to examine whether users are willing to spend more on their internet if they are (1) more experienced in using telehealth, (2) more optimistic about telehealth benefits, and (3) less concerned about the difficulty of using telehealth. Methods: We surveyed 5,200 Americans about their willingness to pay (WTP) for internet speed and quality on the one hand, and their (1) prior use of telehealth, (2) opinion about the benefits of telehealth, and (3) opinion about the difficulties of using telehealth. We stratified the sample using the three aspects above and conducted a conjoint analysis to estimate the WTP for internet speed and quality within each stratum. Results: Compared with respondents who had never used telehealth, respondents who had used five to six different types of telehealth services were willing to spend 50.4% more on their internet plans. Users who most firmly believed in the benefits of telehealth were willing to spend 59.2% more than the most pessimistic users. Users who had the lowest concerns about the difficulty of using telehealth were willing to spend 114% more than users with the most perceived difficulty. Discussion: We found strong ties between the WTP for internet and prior telehealth use and perceptions of telehealth benefits and barriers. Thus, internet expenditures may be influenced by users' anticipation of using telehealth. Future studies may investigate the causality of the relationship.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • broadband
  • internet
  • quality
  • speed
  • telehealth
  • willingness to pay

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