According to a poll conducted by the University of Michigan on healthy aging, people are becoming more confident in telemedicine. In the past year, older adults revealed at least one primary concern about using telemedicine. A year later, in mid-2020, the situation is different, with many people being free to try out telehealth visits.
This is especially among those that did virtual visits between March and June this year. Ironically, even in the current coronavirus pandemic, not all older adults see telehealthcare as a sufficient substitute for in-person care. According to the poll, 17% of those aged above 50 years say they have never tried any video conference tool, including telehealthcare.
As much as the figure is 11% higher than that recorded in 2019, lack of access or experience could hinder receiving medical care without leaving homes. This happens amidst the rising number of coronavirus cases in the US. According to Lorraine Buis, a health information researcher at the University of Michigan, the poll results implicates health providers that have been drumming up support for telehealth offerings.
She further said that tracking the course of change over time could be critical in determining future efforts and underscores the need for extensive research on barriers, concerns, and the use of telemedicine by the elderly.
Telehealth Acceptance Among the Elderly
The poll results showed that by June 2020, 30% of the older people above 50 years have participated in a telemedicine visit. This has been looked at as a reflection of changes made in the insurance coverage a few months before the pandemic. The figures from March to June indicate that many individuals tried out telehealthcare due to states mandating reductions in non-emergency and elective health care.
The subsequent coronavirus related restrictions also played a role in the significant increase in telehealth visits. The stay-at-home orders, in particular, led to many people trying out telemedicine care.