With everyone asked to practice social distancing and more of the population ordered to stay home each day, you need a telemedicine solution to keep taking care of your patients.
But what about your older patient population? Are they ready to adopt telemedicine as an alternative to office visits?
The coronavirus pandemic is turning telemedicine into a necessity to keep practices afloat. And there is evidence elderly patients can adapt.
Growing Technology Adoption
A Pew Research survey from 2016 found over 40% of seniors aged 65 and older have smartphones, more than doubling the number of those with smartphones in 2013.
And trends from previous Pew surveys show senior adoption of smartphones nearly quadrupled from 2011 to 2016.
Even though these data are several years old, the trends are solid, and one could assume that smartphone adoption has continued to increase.
Furthermore, an AARP study from 2017 found that 7 in 10 adults aged 50+ own a smartphone. And of those smartphone owners, more than a quarter were already using those devices to manage or receive medical care.
The AARP study also found the most common activity seniors perform on smartphones is sending or receiving messages or emails. Familiarity with these activities makes adoption of telemedicine with Direct Health that much easier.
Effortless to Use
Direct Health’s simple and elegant design makes virtual visits easy for you and your patients. With just a few screen taps, your patients can send you messages as easily as they text or send email.
Your patients can text and send photos or videos securely for your review. And if you need clarification, you can initiate an audio or video call with your patients so you get the information you need to answer their questions and make clinical decisions.
The look and feel of Direct Health’s app is similar to the messaging and calling apps your patients are already comfortable using. And your patients will appreciate how easy they can connect with you for their care.
Well Suited for Elderly Needs
As this pandemic forces you to shift how you practice medicine, virtual care is naturally a good fit to take care of your senior patients.
Virtual visits allow your patients to see you in the comfort of their homes, decreasing their risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 along with other pathogens. And you gain a better idea of how their living environments affect their care.
Virtual care lends itself to many of the visit types senior patients need, including:
- Treating minor acute illnesses
- Triaging to assess severity of symptoms
- Follow-up visits
- Sharing test results
- Medication management
- Chronic disease management
- Lifestyle coaching
As always, if you feel your patients need a hands-on exam or further evaluation, you can always ask them to see you in the office. It’s your decision. And you can have your staff assist with setting up an appointment using Direct Health’s secure chat feature.
Stay Connected with Your Senior Patients
In these trying times, you need a solution to continue giving quality care to your elderly patients.
Technology adoption by seniors continues to grow, and Direct Health’s straightforward design will be familiar to the large portion of your patients already using smartphones.
Start using Direct Health today to care for your elderly patients as easily as they connect with their friends and family.
Interested in learning more about Direct Health? Contact us to schedule a demo or sign up now.
About the Author
Stephanie Kreml, MD is a former urgent care doctor and advises digital health and life science companies. Dr. Kreml also served as Chief Medical Officer for Accordion Health where she worked alongside data scientists to develop machine learning-based tools to enable healthcare organizations more effectively manage their patient populations.
She is an Advisory Panel Member for Dell Medical School’s Texas Health Catalyst program, enabling researchers to translate technologies into commercial healthcare applications. Prior to medical school, she held engineering positions with Motorola and Texas Instruments. Dr. Kreml received her Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine and her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.
About Direct Health
Direct Health is working to change how healthcare is delivered by recreating the doctor-patient relationship. With the secure messaging app, physicians and patients have the ability to connect via text, call, or video, from anywhere and on their schedule. This enables patients to chat with their doctor, vet, or therapist at any time, and clinicians to extend care and get paid without extra overhead or burdensome schedules. With over 20,000 doctors across the platform, Direct Health is leading the way in the future of healthcare. For more information, visit http://www.directhealth.us.
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