How Do Americans Feel About COVID-19 Vaccine Passports?

By Staff
Friday, February 26, 2021 3:56 PM NEW YORK—Is it safe yet? This seems to be the question many are asking today as the coronavirus pandemic seems to be on a downward slope, but yet the threat of new variants taking hold is moving in the opposite direction.

At the same time, a debate about “vaccine passports” is picking up as many countries look toward something close to normalcy even amid these new virus strains. New research from Piplsay recently dug into the opinions of people on this emerging vaccine passport concept and their acceptance of it.

With the mass roll of COVID-19 vaccines, there could be a new normal headed our way, according to the research firm’s recent report.

Vaccine passports, or e-certificates that contain COVID-19 test results and vaccination status, may soon become mandatory for international travel, with many countries even contemplating using it for regular activities like concerts, games, movies and even workplaces.

While vaccination for travel is not a new concept as several countries demand proof of yellow fever vaccination even today, displaying one’s health status for everyday access may take some getting used to.

How comfortable are Americans with this emerging idea of a digital health passport? In the Piplsay poll of 30,268 people nationwide, this is what the responses looked like:

• 65 percent of Americans said they believe vaccine passports will be a useful tool to keep a check on the virus
• 64 percent of Americans support the idea of travel access based on one’s health status
• 57 percent of Americans think vaccine passports will make their visits or travel less stressful.

Frame Sterilization Technology Tops List of Office Enhancements as a Result of COVID-19

By Staff
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 4:56 PM The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked the need for many changes in the office, and ODs have had to make adjustments to keep the office and exam experience safe and comfortable for patients. Respondents shared that they made new technology purchases for the optical (52 percent), the exam room and pretesting area (52 percent) and for billing or the front office area (32 percent), according to a recent Women In Optometry Pop-Up Poll.

Technology for sterilizing frames topped the new purchase list, with 75 percent of respondents saying that they added a new way of cleaning frames between patients. Other common responses included:

• Diagnostic instruments that allow for social distancing: 50 percent
• Kiosks for taking patients’ temperature: 40 percent
• Telemedicine applications: 35 percent
• EMR to enable work-at-home options: 20 percent

Click here to read the full story from Women In Optometry.

Most Health Care Plan Members Prefer Paperless, Digital Experiences

By Staff
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 4:40 PM Payers can gain tremendous time and cost efficiencies by transitioning members from paper to digital communications as long as members are receptive and willing to make the switch, according to the results of a recent survey by Change Healthcare, a leading independent health care technology company.

The survey findings, published by the online trade journal Fierce Healthcare, were based on a poll of 250 insured consumers.

Frost & Sullivan Estimates Virtual Critical Care Solutions Market in the U.S. & EU-5 to Grow Significantly by 2025

By Staff
Monday, February 22, 2021 4:25 PM A recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan found that the COVID-19 outbreak and the shortage of intensivists exposed the dire need for virtual critical care solutions that can cater to large patient populations remotely. The virtual critical care solutions market in the U.S. & EU-5 is estimated to generate revenue of $1.5 billion by 2025 from $818 million in 2020, registering impressive expansion at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5 percent, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Consumers Across the Globe Have ‘Discovered the Convenience of E-commerce,’ McKinsey Finds

By Staff
Friday, February 19, 2021 3:59 PM NEW YORK—The coronavirus pandemic has led to many changes in consumer behavior, but perhaps the one that stands out is the shift to e-commerce. Indeed, many consumers discovered the convenience—and safety—of e-commerce for purchasing all kinds of products as well as conducting other online activities during the pandemic.

In a recent post on its site, the consulting firm McKinsey & Company noted that in 2020, the share of e-commerce grew “at two to five times the rate before COVID-19.”

In the U.S., the growth of e-commerce was 3.3 times faster than before the pandemic, while growth in the U.K. was 4.5 times faster than before the pandemic, according to McKinsey.

In addition, the post noted “roughly three-quarters of people using digital channels for the first time during the pandemic say they will continue using them when things return to “normal.” This was one of the findings of an earlier McKinsey Consumer Pulse survey (which are conducted around the world).

This 2020 survey found that the flight to digital and omnichannel will continue. “Consumers continue to shift to online shopping across categories, with many consumers planning to shift almost completely online after COVID-19. Americans are trying new digital habits and intensifying usage of digital behaviors such as grocery delivery and restaurant delivery,” McKinsey noted.

Unemployed Americans Are Feeling the Emotional Strain of Job Loss; Most Have Considered Changing Occupations

By Staff
Thursday, February 18, 2021 4:05 PM The U.S. economy abruptly plunged into a recession roughly a year ago, as the rapid spread of the coronavirus and ensuing shutdowns and stay-at-home orders dealt a devastating blow to many businesses and industries. This put in motion a dramatic spike in unemployment between March and April of 2020, which was unprecedented in the post-World War II era—peaking at 14.8 percent in April (seasonally adjusted).

The unemployment rate has come down significantly since last spring, falling to 6.3 percent in January 2021. But labor market disruption remains a hallmark of the COVID-19 recession.

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that about half of U.S. adults who are currently unemployed, furloughed or temporarily laid off and are looking for a job are pessimistic about their prospects for future employment, and most say they’ve seriously considered changing fields or occupations since they’ve been unemployed. Many say they’ve experienced more emotional or mental health issues during the time they’ve been out of work.

Seven-Day Average of Daily COVID-19 Cases Drops on a Global Scale

By Staff
Wednesday, February 17, 2021 4:51 PM One year ago, on Feb. 11, 2020, the World Health Organization found the name for what has been shaping our lives ever since: COVID-19, according to a recent feature from Back then, the WHO reported 42,708 confirmed cases in China and 393 cases across 24 other countries. Twelve months later, there have been 106.8 million cases of COVID-19 around the world, with 2.3 million dying from the disease.

And while the virus remains an imminent threat for the time being, especially with more infectious variants on the rise, the downward trend in global new cases combined with the beginning of mass inoculation campaigns across the world are a welcome light at the end of the tunnel.

According to the World Health Organization, the seven-day average of daily new cases fell to 428,000 last week—the lowest it's been since late October.

B2B Sellers Expect Minor Challenges in 2021

By Staff
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 4:17 PM A newly released survey of 110 B2B companies by Digital Commerce 360 found that over half of B2B distributors anticipate minor challenges to optimizing online customer experience as they invest in e-commerce this year.

B2B sellers shifted their focus to investing more in their e-commerce sites because of COVID-19, according to Digital Commerce 360. Forty-five percent said they are expecting significant challenges in securing the funds to make necessary investments in their business.

Americans Show New Interest in Virtual Eyecare Options, Versant Study Finds

By Staff
Friday, February 12, 2021 4:35 PM Versant Health last week released the results of the 2nd annual Vision Wellness Study, which found Americans, in particular young adults under 40, are showing a new interest in the use of virtual technology and telemedicine for eyecare.

The Vision Wellness Study surveyed consumers and health plan executives on their perceptions of eyecare in a pandemic environment, including the value they place on eyecare services and their beliefs about the impact of eyecare on overall health.

At Early Stage of COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout, Most Older Adults Have Not Yet Been Vaccinated

By Staff
Thursday, February 11, 2021 3:41 PM NEW YORK—Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, older adults have been at greater risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death due to COVID-19. As a result, there has been a significant effort made to rollout vaccines to this segment of the population.

According to the CDC, adults ages 65 and older—including residents of long-term care facilities who are primarily in this age group—account for 29 percent of all people who were administered a COVID-19 vaccine dose in the first month of vaccination, disproportionate to their share of the overall population (15 percent), according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

As of Feb. 1, more than half of all states (29 states and the District of Columbia) have expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines to include people 65 and older. To date, nearly 32 million people, or about 10 percent of the US population, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In its analysis covering the early stages of the vaccine rollout, Kaiser found that in the states that report COVID-19 vaccinations by age cohort, the majority of older adults have not yet received at least one dose of the vaccine. “The share of adults 65 and older who have received at least one dose of the vaccine ranges from 34 percent in West Virginia to 10 percent in Pennsylvania,” Kaiser said, noting though that the relatively low rate in Pennsylvania may be partly explained by data not included from Philadelphia county.

Nine states—West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Delaware, Texas, Michigan, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, plus the District of Columbia—report vaccinating at least 20 percent of their 65 and older population. Each of the states reporting vaccination rates among the 65 and older population has expanded eligibility to this age group.

Among the three states—Florida, Georgia, and Texas—that placed people ages 65 and older in the initial prioritization group (that is, before the federal government advised including them), two (Florida and Texas) are reporting vaccination rates by age, and Florida has the highest vaccination rate among older adults (29 percent) as of Feb. 4.

COVID-19 Have You Feeling Stressed? You’re Not Alone

By Staff
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 4:20 PM Feeling like COVID-19’s got you down? A recent Women In Optometry Pop-up Poll shows you’re not alone. The majority of respondents said that their mental health and stress level have been negatively impacted by months of this COVID-19 environment. Among the challenges they were asked to rate, 64 percent of respondents said that there mental health and stress level is somewhat worse now than pre-COVID.

Another 19 percent said it was much worse now. Practice and business revenue has been impacted, as well, with 48 percent of respondents rating it somewhat worse than pre-COVID, and 15 percent said much worse.
Poll respondents stated that being in the office brought some of their greatest risk: either by seeing patients (47 percent) and interactions with staff/co-workers (9 percent). Another 29 percent felt their greatest exposure was when they were out interacting in the community in public locations including restaurants and the grocery store.

Click here to read the full story from Women In Optometry.

Minorities, Women, Low Wage Earners and Less Educated Will Be Most Vulnerable in Pandemic Recovery

By Staff
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 5:33 PM Job losses have disproportionately affected minorities, women, younger workers, and workers with lower educational attainment or income, according to a McKinsey analysis of the U.S. Census Current Population Survey (CPS) as of November 2020.

The McKinsey study found that:

* Black and Hispanic workers faced 1.6 to 2.0 times the unemployment rates of their white counterparts.
* Households with less than $30,000 in annual income faced double the unemployment rates of higher-income households.

Biometrics to Secure Over $3 Trillion in Mobile Payments By 2025

By Staff
Monday, February 8, 2021 4:42 PM A new study from Juniper Research has found that biometrics will authenticate over $3 trillion of payment transactions in 2025, from just $404 billion in 2020. The report found that biometrics, including fingerprint, iris, voice and facial recognition are becoming critical to offering compelling app experiences, as mobile payments dominate the payments landscape. The extraordinary growth of over 650 percent will be fueled by increased use of OEM Pays (such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay), for both remote and in-store payments.

Report Finds Time Spent With Digital Media in 2020 Exceeded Expectations

By Staff
Friday, February 5, 2021 4:26 PM NEW YORK—With a pandemic disrupting much of the nation’s regular routines in 2020, there was a corresponding impact on media consumption by Americans. Indeed, eMarketer says in its recent report on media that the upheaval caused by the pandemic led to “even more time spent with digital media than we anticipated.”

According to the research firm, U.S. adults spent an average of 7 hours, 50 minutes (7:50) per day with digital media last year, a 15 percent increase from 2019. That growth will mostly be retained in 2021, eMarketer noted in its report, “U.S. Time Spent with Media 2021 Update.”

Who were the big media winners in 2020, according to eMarketer? (Note, traditional media includes newspapers, magazines, radio and standard TV.)

It turns out that time spent with connected TV (CTV) increased 33.8 percent to 1:17 per day in 2020. “This was largely driven by the explosive popularity of subscription OTT (over the top) services, where time spent among U.S. adults increased by a nearly identical 33.9 percent to 1:12 minutes per day,” eMarketer said. “Among subscription OTT users, average time spent skyrocketed to 1:50 per day. Smartphone time also increased substantially last year, climbing 16.6 percent.”

Time spent with digital video, smartphones, CTV, subscription OTT, and digital audio will maintain their gains and continue claiming even more time going forward in many cases, eMarketer predicted. But, at the same time, traditional TV, nearly every social network, tablets, and desktops/laptops will give back some of their 2020 gains.

NRF Estimates Over 185 Million Viewers Will Tune In to Sunday’s Super Bowl

By Staff
Thursday, February 4, 2021 3:54 PM The latest consumer spending data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics’ 2021 Super Bowl survey found that 186.6 million U.S. adults say they plan to tune in to the big game.

With the ongoing impact of COVID-19, it’s no surprise that consumers’ Super Bowl celebration traditions look a little different this year. While many typically use the game as an excuse to get together with friends, just 28 percent say they will be throwing or attending a party or watching the game at a bar, the lowest in the survey’s history.

Over the past year, consumers have become experts at making traditional events feel as normal as possible. From stocking up on fun food and beverages to team apparel or splurging on a new TV, 86 percent of viewers are planning to make purchases to help mark the occasion. And they plan to spend $74.55 on average, for a total $13.9 billion nationwide.

Check out all the data in the infographic and explore NRF’s Super Bowl Dashboard for historical data and trends.