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Older patients use telehealth almost as much as younger ones, report finds

01/10/2020

Older patients use telehealth almost as much as younger ones, report finds

We’ve written before about how telehealth has come into its own during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has driven the adoption of telehealth services, and it’s not just younger patients that have been taking advantage, according to a new report.


Contrary to popular belief, older patients have also been embracing telehealth services, as shown in a recent report by Strata Decision Technology.


Based on data collected from 43 health systems, as well as telehealth visit data from the American Medical Association and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the report shows that while telehealth visit utilization was highest for the 30–39 age cohort (27.95%), individuals in their 70s (22.52%), 80s (20.29%), and even 90s (19.04%) have been utilizing telehealth offerings.


Jeffrey Gelblum, MD, a practicing neurologist at First Choice Neurology in Aventura, Florida, says telehealth is enabling older patients to access healthcare services they may otherwise have missed out on.


“Historically, we had to deal with older folks who may not be able to drive and older folks who would have difficulty finding a parking space. If the weather was bad, some older folks did not want to go to a doctor appointment. Driving for older folks is problematic in terms of compliance. But now with telehealth, that situation has been resolved,” he says.


Telehealth also allows older patients to see their physicians more often than if they were having to attend face-to-face appointments.

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