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The CareSide, a home care service provider based in Western Australia, has published a report on Australians’ perception of telemedicine, gauging their comfort with its technology and preference between teleconsultations and in-person visits.
In January this year, it surveyed 1,122 Australian adults, categorising them by age brackets: 74% were aged 18-39, 20% were 40-64 years old, and 6% were aged 65 and above.
In the report, 56% of respondents aged 65 and above indicated that they were comfortable using telemedicine. CareSide found this surprising considering the challenges seniors usually face such as physical limitations like reduced eyesight and limited hearing, along with a lack of familiarity with new technologies. However, they mentioned that this may be due to necessity, as COVID-19 pushed many people to use telemedicine.
The survey also found that across all ages, respondents prefer in-person visits to teleconsultations. This is probably because of the latter’s limitation in meeting patients’ needs. “When you need labs, a biopsy, or a physical exam, your provider will need to see you in person. Perhaps this preference for in-person is simply an acknowledgement that many health needs can’t be met by a telehealth visit,” CareSide mentioned.
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