Older adults don’t use health care patient portals

Older man and woman looking at a computer

(U-M Health Lab)

The National Poll on Healthy Aging determined that about half of people 50 to 80 years of age have an online account for their health care, and people over age 65 were less likely to use a computer in regards to their health information than those between 50 and 60 years old.

U-M’s Sarah J. Clark, M.P.H., co-associate director of the poll and an associate research scientist at the U-M Medical School stated that “many older adults are uncomfortable with electronic interactions substituting for a phone call or in-person conversation.”

One concern in not using online portals is that family members are unable to access the patient’s medical information, which is a feature included in the portals. As patients age, their health might require a person needing that access. These portals are meant to provide ease and benefits of use to patients who remain unaware of them.

Author: Samantha DeRosia, ITS Communications

Samantha is an intern for the ITS Communications team. You can reach her at srderosi@umich.edu.