Uses and attitudes of old and oldest adults towards self-monitoring health systems

Document Type
D’Haeseleer, I., Gerling, K., Vanrumste, B., Schreurs, D., Buckingham, C., & Abeele, V. V.

Oldest adults (80 years and over) are the fastest growing group in the total world population. This is putting pressure on national healthcare budgets, as the distribution of healthcare expenses is strongly age-dependent. One way of mitigating this burden may be to let older adults contribute to their own health directly by using self-management health systems (SMHS). SMHS might help older, including oldest, adults gain insight into their health status, and invite them to take action. However, while many studies report on user evaluations of older adults with one specific sensor system, fewer studies report on older adults’ uses and attitudes towards integrated SMHS. Moreover, most studies include participants with mean ages of 65 rather than 80. In this paper, we report on a qualitative study, consisting of a focus group interview and a user evaluation of an SMHS by 12 participants with a median age of 85 years. Three main findings were derived: Older adults (1) showed heterogeneity in computer skills, (2) found health technologies useful for others – not yet for themselves, and (3) perceived health technologies as a threat to social interaction. These findings suggest that health technologies are not ready for adoption by older adults yet, and further research on making them more accessible and desirable is required.

Publication Date
Mon, 2019-05-13 20:34
Publication Title
Pervasive Health ’19: EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare