Telemedicine can help seniors use ED less: study

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Telemedicine can help senior living community residents visit the hospital emergency department less, according to research recently published in the the journal Telemedicine and e-Health.

Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center studied residents of 22 senior living communities for more than three years. Residents at six of the communities could choose to have their acute illnesses diagnosed and treated by a primary care geriatrics practice via “high-intensity telemedicine” involving one-on-one, real-time interaction with a health care professional or help with assisting resources from a technician.

Among residents of the seniors able to use telemedicine, the rate of ED usage decreased by 18 percent. Among the other older adults, researchers saw no change in ED usage.

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