The COVID-19 pandemic challenges healthcare services. Concomitantly, this pandemic had a stimulating effect on technological expansions related to telehealth and telemedicine. We sought to elucidate the principal patients’ reasons for using telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic and the propensity to use it thereafter. Our primary objective was to identify the reasons of the survey participants’ disparate attitudes toward the use of telemedicine. We performed an online, multilingual 30-question survey for 14 days during March–April 2021, focusing on the perception and usage of telemedicine and their intent to use it after the pandemic. We analyzed the data to identify the attributes influencing the intent to use telemedicine and built decision trees to highlight the most important related variables. We examined 473 answers: 272 from Israel, 87 from Uruguay, and 114 worldwide. Most participants were women (64.6%), married (63.8%) with 1–2 children (52.9%), and living in urban areas (84.6%). Only a third of the participants intended to continue using telemedicine after the COVID-19 pandemic. Our main findings are that an expected substitution effect, technical proficiency, reduced queueing times, and peer experience are the four major factors in the overall adoption of telemedicine. Specifically, (1) for most participants, the major factor influencing their telemedicine usage is the implicit expectation that such a visit will be a full substitute for an in-person appointment; (2) another factor affecting telemedicine usage by patients is their overall technical proficiency and comfort level in the use of common web-based tools, such as social media, while seeking relevant medical information; (3) time saving as telemedicine can allow for asynchronous communications, thereby reducing physical travel and queuing times at the clinic; and finally (4) some participants have also indicated that telemedicine seems more attractive to them after watching family and friends (peer experience) use it successfully.
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