Sixty seven percent of seniors want to access healthcare service from home, although 66 percent of seniors do not think current available technology is sufficient for them to do so, according to an Accenture survey of 354 US seniors, aged 65 and over who are receiving Medicare benefits. The survey was fielded between May and June 2014.
Accenture pointed out that according to data from the US Census Bureau, 3.9 million Americans are turning 65 this year.
“Just as seniors are turning to digital tools for banking, shopping, entertainment and communications, they also expect to handle certain aspects of their healthcare services online,” Kaveh Safavi, global managing director of Accenture’s health business said in a statement. “What this means for healthcare systems is that they need to consider the role that digital technology can play in making healthcare more convenient for patients of all ages at every touch point.”
The survey found that more than 66 percent of seniors prefer to use self-care technology to manage their health rather than managing health independently. The survey also found that more than 60 percent of seniors are willing to wear a health tracking device to monitor certain vital signs, like heart rate and blood pressure. Another 60 percent of seniors are somewhat or very likely to use online health communities, including PatientsLikeMe, to research a doctor’s recommendation before they act on it.
Twenty five percent of seniors use electronic health records portals regularly to manage their health. According to projections from Accenture, the percentage of seniors that use EHR portals will grow to 42 percent in five years, as consumer-facing tools increase. Of those that currently use these portals regularly, 57 percent use them to access lab results.