Ageing adults have the second highest adoption of digital health tech

Despite having the greatest demand for healthcare services, the chronically ill older people are the least likely to leverage digital health technologies.

This according to research conducted by Rock Health covering 4,000 U.S. adults.

Extremely low rates of live video telemedicine use, digital health goal tracking, and wearable use might indicate an issue far larger than the predictable “of course, older people are less comfortable with technology”.

It is well known that ‘loneliness’ is one of the greatest challenges of ageing. So apart from those who are bedridden or otherwise mobility-limited, such technologies may deprive them of one of the few social interactions remaining in elderly life, a visit to the doctor.

Wearables? Not yet

Meanwhile, it seems that wearables are not yet the ‘next big thing’ as originally thought;

  • Among the 24 percent of respondents (974) that own a wearable device or smart watch, over a quarter (260) reported that they no longer use the wearable
  • Nearly 30 percent of users discontinued use after achieving their intended goal
  • 20 percent stopped use because the wearable was ineffective in helping them achieve their goal

Add this to the additional challenges that normal ageing create for the interaction between users and devices and it’s easy to see that companies must figure out how to deliver long-term value to ensure sustainable customer engagement for people of all ages.