Tag Archives: Telehealth Visits

Knee Osteoarthritis: New Study Shows Telehealth Visit Benefits (Harvard)

Telehealth: Older Adults increase Use Of Virtual Visits from 4% To 26% (2020)

From 2019 to 2020, there was a substantial increase in the proportion of older adults who reported that their health care providers offered telehealth visits. In May 2019, 14% of older adults said that their health care providers offered telehealth visits, compared to 62% in June 2020.

Similarly, the percentage of older adults who had ever participated in a telehealth visit rose sharply from 4% in May 2019 to 30% in June 2020. Of those surveyed in 2020, 6% reported having a telehealth visit prior to March 2020, while 26% reported having a telehealth visit in the period from March to June 2020.

Over the past year, some concerns about telehealth visits decreased among adults age 50–80 whether or not they had a telehealth visit. Older adults’ concerns about privacy in telehealth visits decreased from 49% in May 2019 to 24% in June 2020, and concerns about having difficulty seeing or hearing health care providers in telehealth visits decreased from 39% in May 2019 to 25% in June 2020. Concerns about not feeling personally connected to the health care provider decreased slightly (49% to 45%).

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From the John A. Hartford Foundation:

While the benefits of telehealth are myriad and more apparent than ever, our survey revealed that 41% of older adults did not see telehealth as living up to the in-person experience. Providers must optimize the technology so that it caters to the less tech-savvy patient and caregivers—especially, if it is their only means of accessing health care—so that it replicates the in-person visit as close as possible. 

survey we recently conducted shows that more than half of US adults age 70 and older (55%) experienced a disruption in their medical care during the first month of social distancing due to COVID-19. These older adults were most likely to delay primary or preventive care, and that’s alarming. Even more worrying, 15% of older adults put off essential medical treatment because of the pandemic. We don’t need medical degrees to know that delaying necessary care does not make the outcomes better.

As older adults continue to delay getting needed care, the problem will compound—increasing pent-up demand for services will ultimately vex health systems as patients’ conditions worsen. We think about the 4Ms of age-friendly care – what Matters, Medication, Mentation and Mobility – and how the pandemic may be delaying the assessments and interventions needed to prevent medication errors or to preserve cognitive and functional status.

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