McKinsey May 11, 2023
By Oscar Boldt-Christmas , Rebecca Kannourakis, Madeline Maud, and Drew Ungerman

A shift to more-accessible, cost-effective virtual-care models could mitigate increases in healthcare service demand, expenditures, and patient dissatisfaction.

Healthcare systems around the world are under pressure. It’s no secret that the combination of aging populations, increased burden of disease, and staffing shortages has left substantial unmet needs when it comes to acute hospital care. Resource constraints are also affecting wait times in many government-run health systems; in Australia and the United Kingdom, for example, it is commonplace for ambulances transporting patients to “ramp” at hospital entrances because bedspace is at capacity.

COVID-19 has compounded these challenges and, in many cases, further overwhelmed the capacity of hospitals and intensive care units worldwide.1 These pressures have left...

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