What happened

American Well (NYSE:AMWL), also known as Amwell, rose as high as 16% on Wednesday before settling down to a still-impressive 8% gain on the day.

The catalyst seems to be a report the company released on Tuesday indicating sharper-than-expected take-up of telehealth services, Amwell's stock in trade.

So what

The 2020 edition of Amwell's annual Physician and Consumer Survey found that both healthcare practitioners and patients anticipate using telehealth services more frequently after the coronavirus pandemic -- assuming it ever ends -- than they did in the times before the outbreak.

Elderly man using telemedicine services.

Image source: Getty Images.

Twenty-two percent of the consumers Amwell surveyed used telehealth services for a doctor visit or visits this year; that number for healthcare practitioners is 80%. Those numbers are up considerably from the 2019 results of 8% and 22%, respectively.

"This shift suggests the beginning of a rapid transition to a hybrid care model that combines both virtual and physical care settings," Amwell co-CEO Ido Schoenberg said. 

Now what

But is this trend resilient enough to last beyond COVID-19? After all, when the pandemic recedes, we'll be able to go back to standard in-person doctor visits without risking our lives to do so.

Most likely, the trend will endure and even accelerate. Even without a pandemic, modern life is complicated, busy, and stressful. Telehealth services help alleviate all of this, and thanks to technology, they are simple to access and use. Amwell investors are right to be optimistic about these latest findings.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.