The benefits of telehealth services are clear: greater operational agility and cost controls, improved patient outcomes and more personalized care chief among the many reasons why this technology has a place in medicine today.
And with the Baby Boomer population nearing retirement age, telehealth technology couldn’t be coming along at a better time. The aging of this demographic is putting immense pressure on the healthcare industry to keep premiums stable, benefits secure, find enough doctors to go around, while empowering patients to maintain their quality of life at the same time.
As such, Baby Boomers are in a unique position to put telehealth services to the test and demonstrate how critical a role these services will have in the years to come. Let’s take a look at some of the key factors that will inform our expectations for the Boomers and telehealth providers.
Boomers Want to Age in Place
According to recent figures from the AARP, 87 percent of Baby Boomers want to remain in their homes and communities as they age. The autonomous nature of this generation makes telehealth a natural fit for those opposed to transferring to facilities with on-site physicians.
Baby Boomers and Technology Adoption Are on the Rise
Older individuals and cutting-edge technology can sometimes make for awkward interactions, but the Pew Research Center has found that Baby Boomers are highly adept at keeping up with the rate of change; a record number of seniors now go online and use smartphones. The telehealth services providers that can offer these individuals a familiar digital experience will see that this demographic is eager to leverage their solutions.
Chronic Illness Epidemic Strains the Healthcare System
Baby Boomers are driving a national chronic disease epidemic. Half of Baby Boomers take heart medications, while one in five battle diabetes. The need for constant care and monitoring places healthcare organizations under greater pressure, while contributing to higher costs for those who make constant trips to the doctor. Remote patient monitoring provides a logical answer to this challenging scenario.
Shifting Perception of Telehealth Services
The opportunity to capitalize on telehealth isn’t only about the Baby Boomers themselves. There is a noticeable shift in perception about telehealth among doctors, too. One nationwide survey of doctors found that 57 percent were willing to conduct video visits with their patients.
The healthcare industry finds itself in a unique position in 2017. The Baby Boomer generation is poised to provide a challenge to healthcare providers, while telehealth solutions arrive just in time to meet shifting demands. But in order to navigate the introduction of such technology into your organization, all you need is the right telehealth services partner.