How to Fine Tune Telemedicine for Older Adults

Video: How to ensure the best virtual visit for your older patients is discussed by an otologist and a gerontologist from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Many older adults, even those who are facile with the technology of telehealth, experience expected symptoms of aging, eg, mild hearing loss and cognitive deficits, that may challenge the quality of a telemedicine interaction. The overlay of COVID-19 restrictions on in-person visits with clinicians may add emotional stress to virtual encounters for some.

Patient Care spoke with otologist Carrie Nieman, MD, MPH, and gerontologist Esther Oh, MD, PhD, from the Johns Hopkins school of Medicine about an article they authored for the Annals of Internal Medicine on the importance of helping older patients make the most of these virtual visits, whether they are audio-only or on platforms like Zoom or Skype. The conversation follows here.

Carrie Nieman, MD, MPH:
Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Esther Oh, MD, PhD: Associate Professor, Geriatric Medicine/Gerontology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer Treatment Center