Older consumers also say they are waiting for their healthcare plan and health systems to give them access to more digital healthcare services.

Consumers over 55 are the biggest users of the U.S healthcare system, accounting for about 34%—or $1.12 trillion—of all annual healthcare spending of $3.30 trillion. But older consumers are worried about the rising cost of healthcare and the quality of the care they receive.

Even though seniors aren’t the biggest users of digital and mobile health technology, they want more access to apps, wearables, telehealth and remote patient monitoring to improve their quality of care. Those are among the main conclusions from a survey of 1,000 consumers 55 and over from healthcare services company Alignment Healthcare.

35% of seniors feel their health plans do not use any technology to improve access, information or care and want more self-service digital health tools.

More than half of all seniors over 60 cite “cost” as their top healthcare concern with more than one in three worrying about how to pay for services, and one in 10 not retrieving (receiving?) prescriptions, getting a recommended test or procedure or seeing the doctor due to inability to pay the co-payments.

28% of seniors say they live with one or more chronic conditions, with the top five being high blood pressure (65%), high cholesterol (55%), arthritis (53%), depression (32%) and diabetes (31%). Heart disease, the nation’s leading cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (one in four deaths), was cited by one out of five seniors.

But older consumers also say they would be more active users of digital and mobile health services if the technology is able to improve the timeliness and quality of care, the survey says. 80%of adults over 55 believe technology will improve healthcare in the next five years by delivering faster and more accurate diagnoses, curing diseases and predicting and preventing diseases and conditions before they happen.

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Older consumers also say they are waiting for their healthcare plan and health systems to give them access to more digital healthcare services.

35% of seniors feel their health plans do not use any technology to improve access, information or care and want more self-service digital health tools, such as the ability to see a doctor on demand via web-enabled devices and telehealth, electronic record keeping, remote monitoring technology that can look at vital signs or even predict a negative outcome and intervene and the ability to send e-mail messages and images to one’s doctor.

“An important factor for seniors is how to manage their health while meeting their desire to age in place,” the survey says. “They (patients over 55) cite desire for same-day appointments and other concierge-like services, such as in-home doctor appointments, home monitoring, tech-enabled interface with their doctors, complimentary transportation to their appointments, and mail delivery of prescriptions as considerations.”

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