By April 2020, over one million Medicare members were receiving health care via telemedicine. The graph here shows you the hockey-stick growth for virtual care use by older Americans into the second month of the coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 public health crisis up-ended all aspects of daily living in America for people of all ages.
For older Americans, avoiding the risk of contracting the tricky virus in public, and especially, in health care settings, became Job 1.
The pandemic thus nudged older people toward adopting digital lifestyles for daily life, for shopping, for praying, and indeed, for health care.
Laurie Orlov has built a career building insights into older peoples’ use of technology. I discussed Laurie’s insights into the future of remote care in older peoples’ homes in my recent post published on the Medecision Liberation blog.
The essay begins:
“The COVID-19 pandemic revealed many weaknesses and gaps in U.S. health and social care. One among these adversely impacted older Americans beyond the coronavirus itself: the need for digital connectivity.
Without the ability to connect via broadband, older adults, many of whom were already isolated before the public health crisis, experienced further social isolation from family, friends, the community and medical providers. In the U.S., the growth of solo elders and “elder orphans,” older people living alone without a spouse or children on whom they can depend for caregiving, is a growing risk for both depression and poor chronic health management…
The opportunities for solving this challenge are addressed in The Future of Remote Care Technology and Older Adults: Connection is Everything, the latest report from Laurie Orlov, principal analyst for technology market research at Aging and Health Technology Watch.
You can download the full original paper on Laurie’s website here.
For more insights, ongoing, into aging people and their evolving adoption of technology, visit Laurie’s website at the Aging and Health Technology Watch. She’s your go-to source for all-things-aging-and-digital-health.