Unlike with other types of technology, older adults still “rely heavily” on physicians and other healthcare professionals for information about health and wellness-related technologies, according to a new survey.
“Because it has to do with their health care (in their minds), it must be learned from their Health Care Professional AND paid for by someone else, be it private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid,” wrote the authors of the “2019 Technology Study” by Link•Age Connect, a Cincinnati-based research consultancy working exclusively with older adults.
The organization in February surveyed 1,105 people aged 55 or more years. Approximately 19% of respondents lived in affordable housing, and 45% lived in senior housing communities.
Survey respondents said that other trusted sources for information about health and wellness technology — such as fitness trackers, CPAP machines, diabetes monitors, virtual physicians, internet-connected blood pressure cuffs, chronic disease management with live monitoring, and weight scales for people with chronic health failure — included the internet, family and friends.
By comparison, older adults said they trust the internet, family, Google and friends to learn about communication technologies. Similarly, respondents said their most trusted resources for learning about technology related to safety and security are the internet, television, friends and family, according to the survey.
When learning how to use technology, older adults prefer hands-on learning with others, not online “automated” instruction, the authors said.
DirectTV for Business supported the research.