April 2nd marked the one-year anniversary of Sermo’s COVID-19 Real Time Barometer Study—the largest statistically significant COVID-19 survey. At a time when the world needed to hear from physicians on the frontlines, Sermo provided exclusive insights and recommendations from 70,000+ total physician interviews across the globe.
Over the past year, the following key physician insights on COVID-19’s impact were revealed:
- 53% of physicians have seen an increase in patients who are unhoused or in poverty over the past year
- 86% of doctors believe mental health issues, such as depression will be the biggest non-COVID-19 issue as a result of the pandemic
- 3 out of 4 doctors still believe we have a long way to go to achieve COVID-19 community immunity
- Back in June 2020, 81% of U.S. physicians and 62% of doctors worldwide predicted a 2nd wave of COVID-19 was likely to occur
One year after COVID-19 triggered a lockdown, economic downturn and devastating global unemployment, a Sermo survey of 2,696 physicians around the world revealed that an increasing number of patients are dealing with homelessness and an inability to afford treatments/medicines, raising concerns on the long-term health consequences beyond coronavirus. Sermo’s COVID-19 Real Time Barometer also found that a large number of physicians report they are treating people for stress related to the pandemic, and are finding their own stress to be increasing.
More than half (53%) of respondents reported seeing an increase over the past year in the number of patients who are unhoused or in poverty and are unable to afford treatment/prescriptions (56%). Physicians also reported that food insecurity/malnutrition (53%) and an increase in substance use and abuse (52%) were health issues resulting from the rising level of poverty.
Additionally, 55% surveyed reported they have seen an increase in patients moving or changing physicians because they have lost their job and/or their house over the past year.
“Regardless of country and whether they have a nationalized health system, physicians are witnessing dire health consequences due to the economic fall-out caused by COVID-19,” said Peter Kirk, CEO of Sermo. “A chief concern is the long-term impact on people’s health and wellness that isn’t directly related to the pandemic once the worst of the COVID-19 storm has passed.”
In the U.S., three out of four (73%) physicians noted that patients have forgone necessary treatments or appointments because they have lost their health insurance and/or were concerned over the cost. More than 60% of these same respondents reported medications for diabetes and high blood pressure — diseases that disproportionately affect low-income households — were most often skipped. One out of four (24%) felt maternal health was one of the biggest health issues associated with homelessness.
Sermo has had the rare opportunity to collect powerful data from front-line physicians, across 17 barometers to date, including:
- 427 total survey questions were asked
- 1,034,036 unique answers were gathered
- 73,209 physician participants were recorded
- Physicians from 39 different countries participated
- Physicians from 81 different specialties participated
Results from the Barometer Study have been hailed by the media, including the Chicago Tribune, CBS News, the AP News, the Washington Times, and Time magazine—which reported the breaking news that “Hydroxychloroquine fails to help coronavirus patients in largest study of the drug to date.”
But it’s not just the media that found the Barometer’s results significant. Sermo physicians also paid close attention to what their colleagues observed and shared about Covid-19. In a recent poll of 200+ global Sermo physicians, 88% reported that the survey’s observations, insights and recommendations from their colleagues were valuable. And 52% said their personal opinions or treatment recommendations changed based on data provided from the Barometer.
Eighty three percent of Sermo physicians look forward to future roll-outs of the Barometer’s data and findings. And that’s good news because this is an ongoing survey. The Barometer will continue to educate and enlighten the world on the evolving treatments, vaccines, and expectations of what’s to come in this pandemic.
Sermo is the future of doctors’ interactions. And it’s getting better and better.Psychiatrist, Italy
Sermo became my ‘2nd Medical Home’! Thanks for being always here when I get up in the mornings and obviously, thank you to the colleagues on Sermo.Oncology, Argentina
Sermo turns physician experiences, expertise, and observations into actionable insights for the global healthcare community. Engaging with more than 1.3 million HCPs across 150 countries, the company provides physicians with a social platform and unique community that fosters impactful peer-to-peer collaboration & discussions about issues that are important to them and their patients. Sermo offers on demand access to physicians via a suite of proprietary technology to provide business intelligence that benefits pharmaceutical, healthcare partners and the medical community at large.
About the Real Time Barometer
The Real Time Barometer is an observational study of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak as reported by physicians with firsthand experience treating COVID-19 patients. Each week, thousands of physicians provide insights on topics regarding the global health crisis. To date, Sermo has conducted over 70,000 interviews with doctors in 31 countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Russia, China, Japan and Australia.