Older Adults Shun Patient Portals

A new poll suggests that many older adults still aren’t using online systems to communicate with the doctors and other health care providers they rely on—despite the widespread availability of such systems.

Only about half of people aged 50 to 80 have set up an account on a secure online access site, or “patient portal,” that their health care provider offers, according to the new report from the National Poll on Healthy Aging from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI).

Older people with more education and higher household incomes had higher rates of patient portal use—even though those with lower household incomes and less education in general have more health-related needs.

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