Technology | 11.15.23
When Isolation Increased, Telehealth Use Went Down for Older Adults
During the pandemic, telehealth became absolutely essential for delivering health care services, ensuring patient safety while minimizing virus transmission. However, a new UC Davis Health study explores the disparities in telehealth access and use among older adults especially regarding social isolation and loneliness. These factors, often prevalent in the senior population, have profound implications for overall health. The research determined that the rapid expansion of telehealth during the COVID-19 crisis increased technology usage from 6 percent to 24 percent among people age 70 and older. Furthermore, a majority of participants (63 percent) reported some level of social isolation. "When COVID was starting and telehealth use was accelerating, I realized there was a big difference between people who quickly adopted telehealth and patients who were really struggling and couldn't quite figure it out, especially older adults," stated Rebecca Howe, lead author of the study.