Contribute. The elderly do not like technology. We just do not design for their needs

The elderly, of course, have less knowledge of technology than the younger generation who grew up with it. My parents are from the Second World War, much earlier, when there was a personal computer, not to mention the Internet. Trying to help my elderly mother with email is hard. But just because some people may not know how to use TikTok, what an irreplaceable token is, or how to make WiFi work does not mean that they are against technology.

Of course, it is more difficult for the elderly to adapt to new technologies. However, most seniors have a smartphone, frequent posts on social media, and video chats with their grandchildren.

Many digital healthcare companies mistakenly assume that because some older people are initially struggling with new technologies, they are absolutely against it. The problem is that digital healthcare companies often fail to design products for the elderly.

Along with the growth of virtual health, the wave of innovations and new technologies allows the elderly to grow old at home. This explosion of consumer-focused digital health is basically about turning the delivery of medical care upside down, from the patient who regularly visits the health care system to a system where health care is with us 24/7 on our terms.

For seniors who are physically less active, may not have transportation, or companionship, this idea is even more relevant. Technology can greatly benefit the elderly, making them comfortable, safe, connecting with health care providers, and retrieving virtual health programs from the comfort of their own homes. In fact, the use of technology among people over the age of 50 has increased dramatically during the epidemic. AARP report. In the last decade, by: Pew Research Center:, older people are increasingly adopting technologies such as smartphones and tablets, սոցիալական using social networks. In terms of business, the elderly make up a good portion of the population, and Medicare costs almost $ 830 billion in 2020 makes up 20% of national health expenditures.

The evolving definition of “elderly”

The definition of “old” is not what it used to be. The next generation of seniors will spend most of their middle years using the Internet, smartphones, tablets, and various software applications, positioning them better to navigate the next iteration of high-tech gizmos and gadgets. Soon there will be no generation that is not accustomed to the fact that technology is intertwined with everyday life.

For better or worse, retirement is not as guaranteed as it used to be, as more people continue to work after the age of 65, either because they have to or because they want to. According to A. 2021 research, almost one in five seniors said they plan to work until age 70, while 12% said they would work full time for the rest of their lives. The image of a senior man sitting on a rocking chair drinking lemonade all day is no longer accurate if it ever was. For those who are working on their golden years, many will continue to use new, relevant technologies on a regular basis.

The elderly use technology that is useful to them

Trying to master the latest technology can be overwhelming and frustrating for the elderly. But then it’s definitely wrong to conclude that most seniors hate technology.

Two years after the epidemic, older people, like everyone else, have had to feel more comfortable with virtual health technologies. With fewer health options combined with the risk of COVID-19, older people with chronic health problems, mobility problems or other health needs are increasingly willing to turn to virtual health services և products so they do not have to leave the area. House. Aging at home is a trend that is expected to grow in the coming years, requiring digital healthcare companies to target the aging population.

Digital health for the elderly should be simple, without contact

There is a need for digital health to improve the lives of the elderly The willingness to use technology is growing among the elderly. What is needed is for digital healthcare companies to stand up at the moment of meeting, designing non-contact services և products. This means that the sophisticated sensors are out. In fact, remove the hardware altogether. Forget about asking a senior to deal with sensors that require Bluetooth or WiFi. The user interface should be clear, simple, clear.

In addition to making digital health care as easy as possible for the elderly, the product should have a people-centered approach to care. COVID-19 is not only an epidemic of the disease. It has caused an epidemic of isolation, especially in the elderly. Digital healthcare technology should not continue to fuel separation, but rather inspire connectivity. The elderly person should be able to communicate with a health coach, start a video call with a medical professional, or resume exercise from his or her phone, tablet, or desktop computer. Building a relationship’s trust can be as important as having a virtual support team that can assist the elderly and intervene if needed.

Unfortunately, American culture does not value its aging population as much as it could, leading to a negative stereotype that older people are less capable, especially when it comes to technology. Yes, there is a generational difference, but that does not mean that digital healthcare companies should treat the elderly as inappropriate. The epidemic has shed light on the need for more digital health care solutions for the elderly, and research shows that they are ready to embrace new technologies. The elderly deserve as much, if not more, new digital health technologies as the young.


Mark Lack Olson is the CEO of RecoveryOne, a digital health innovator dedicated to improving the quality of recovery from all types of musculoskeletal system (MSK) injuries. Olson, a 30-year-old health veteran, has worked closely with executive teams in the healthcare marketplace to accelerate performance և high-level growth. He has gained a reputation as a health technology strategist who can unleash the potential of an organization. He holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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