As integral as connectivity has become in our day-to-day lives, it can be easy to forget that it wasn’t long ago we lived in a world without the Internet. Yet, many adults in the United States have gone most of their lives without smartphones, email or Twitter. And though these individuals might not speak fluent Emoji, new research reveals that a growing number of older Americans are just as willing to take advantage of telehealth services as tech-savvy Millennials.
In fact, this trend is accelerating at an incredible rate. According to a 2017 American Well consumer Telehealth survey, there are 50 million American adults that would be willing to change primary care practitioners in favor of one offering video-based consultations. To put it in perspective, that’s more than triple the figure from just two years ago.
Why Baby Boomers Seek Telehealth Services
What are the reasons that Baby Boomers are so interested in working with doctors that offer telehealth services? A 2016 Spruce Health study revealed more. It found:
- 57 percent were open to virtual care treatments as an alternative to in-office visits for non-urgent matters
- 51 percent would choose a PCP that offered a patient app over one that did not
- 74 percent felt virtual care was more convenient, while 40 percent felt it would be easier on their schedule
- 40 percent cited the exposure to other patients as a concern addressed by telehealth services
The distinction between patients citing convenience and scheduling is notable. Matters of convenience may not be due to simple scheduling conflicts. Rather, the difference between the figures reflects other logistical considerations, such as travel limitations and physical mobility, which may impair a patient’s ability to travel.
Demand for Organizations to Adopt Telehealth Services Continues to Grow
Healthcare organizations clearly have lots to gain by introducing telehealth services for patients of all ages, rather than the Internet-native Millennial generation. But with the surge in Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, healthcare providers are now challenged to find balance as they adapt to a hastily shifting market.
On one hand, it is a positive that Baby Boomers have taken to telehealth technology. But now providers must act quickly—yet deliberately—to put the pieces in place to provide that care.
Fortunately, this demand has been met by telehealth services providers that can offer comprehensive strategies for your organization’s telehealth needs, ranging from building remote patient monitoring systems to maintaining inventory.
This in turn is helping the healthcare community, besieged by a staff shortage as it is, to refocus their attention on providing superior care. To learn more about how the right telehealth services provider can help your organization and your patients, click here.