Interest in using telehealth services is holding steady, with about one-third of U.S. adults age 50-plus reporting they are extremely or very interested in using telehealth services for themselves or for a loved one, a figure that is essentially unchanged since April 2020.
Telehealth services have been commonly used during the COVID-19 pandemic, albeit with differences by age. Half of adults age 50-plus say they or a family member have used telehealth in the past two years, with those ages 50-64 more likely than those ages 65 and older to report having done so.
Routine doctor's visits are the top reason cited for using telehealth services, noted by nearly seven in ten of those who have used them. More than four in ten telehealth users report using the service to renew prescriptions and discuss a new medical issue, while about half as many use it for diagnosing an illness or securing care for a loved one.
When asked what some of the barriers were that they experienced when using telehealth, six in ten telehealth users reported experiencing no barriers to use. Among those who cited a concern, one-third worried that the quality of care might not be as good with telehealth visits as with in-person visits, while far fewer noted issues such as the possibility of medical errors, concerns about the confidentiality of their health information, and not having access to high-speed internet or to a computer.
The data included in this report are drawn from the Telehealth Redux study which was administered via mixed mode (online and phone) February 24 to March 3, 2022 with a total sample of 1,149 adults ages 50-plus. This national survey was conducted for AARP using NORC at the University of Chicago’s Foresight 50+ Consumer Omnibus. All data are weighted to the latest Current Population Survey (CPS) benchmarks and are balanced by gender, age, education, race/ethnicity, and region.
Keenan, Teresa A. An Updated Look at Telehealth Use Among U.S. Adults 50-Plus. Washington, DC: AARP Research, May 2022. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00535.001