Objective: Providing healthcare for the elderly is one of the expectations of a telemedicine system to reduce the isolation of the aging and enhance the quality of long-term care for the elderly. Based on the experiences in Taiwan, this research aimed at investigating the influences of longevity on the demand for health services through telecommunications and conventional face-to-face methods and to note the relationship between telemedicine and conventional health services. Materials and Methods: Multiple regression analysis was undertaken. The sample covers the period from 1995 to 2004. Our results indicate that a 1% increase in the proportion of elderly relative to the population significantly increases the quantity demanded of telehealth by 305.73 and the quantity demanded of face-to-face health services by 1.99×107. On the relationship between longevity and telemedicine, the society begins to request telehealth when the elderly proportion is >2.06%. With current 9.5% elderly proportion, there is a potential to provide 2,274.86 telemedicine health services that are currently provided at only 954.9 and underprovided by 1.38 times. On the relationship between longevity and conventional health services, when the elderly proportion is >0.56%, the needs for face-to-face health services increase in the elderly percentage. With 9.5% elderly proportion, the estimated volume of health services via conventional medical care system is 1.54×108. The current quantity of such services is 1.11×108 and underprovided by 38%. Estimation results reveal that online and conventional health services are complementary for enhancing health status in an aging society.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management