Application and implementation of telehealth services designed for the elderly population during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review

Health Informatics J. 2022 Jan-Mar;28(1):14604582221075561. doi: 10.1177/14604582221075561.


Background: Telehealth has many benefits, in routine care and especially during times of epidemics in which restrictions to direct patient/healthcare-provider interaction exist.

Objective: To explore the availability, application, and implementation of telehealth services during the Covid-19 era, designed for the aged population (age 65 and more).

Methods: This systematic review/analysis was conducted by searching the most popular databases including PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science. We included studies that clearly defined any use of telemedicine services in any aspect of healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at the elderly population, published in peer-reviewed journals. We independently assessed search results, extracted the relevant studies, and assessed their quality.

Results: 3225 articles were identified after removing duplicates. After reading the full texts of 40 articles, 11 articles were finally included. Among the telehealth services, there were services aimed for triage and control during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote monitoring and treatment, follow-ups online meetings for patients residing in health centers, and application of online services.

Conclusions: Although the elderly population may benefit the most from telehealth services, especially during pandemics and social distancing restrictions, not enough services were developed and implemented to satisfy the needs of this population.

Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; elderly; old; telehealth; telemedicine.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Telemedicine* / methods