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Senior living communities could reduce emergency department visits by implementing telemedicine, according to a new study published in Telemedicine and e-Health.

Researchers worked with 1,219 senior living residents of which 479 received care via a telemedicine program called Health-e-Access, while 740 did not receive care via telemedicine. According to a report in Fierce Health IT, the study found that residents in communities with higher telemedicine use had a decreased emergency department use at an annualized rate of 28 percent while those with less or no use had no significant change in visits to the ED.

Participants who received telemedicine had a total of 503 of virtual doctor visits with 72 percent taking place in senior living communities more engaged with telemedicine and 28 percent occurring in less engaged communities.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.


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