Older patients have demonstrated that they will use mobile technology to push successful outcomes in their own healthcare.
Will Older Patients Use Mobile Technology? YES!
As the US population ages, adults age 50+ are expected to increase by 17 million in the next 12 years. Today, an estimated 57% of baby boomers use technology, up from 40% in 2012(1). The increase can be attributed to people more willing to adopt technologies that keep them connected and entertained.
In a survey conducted by Marketing Charts, almost 50% of respondents indicated an interest in learning about new technology, while at the same time they adopt new devices like smart TVs and voice activated home assistance devices. Baby boomers are slightly behind their younger counterparts with tablet ownership, but are catching up on social media use.
What does that mean to the medical industry?
Trends indicate that technology adoption, and a comfort level with the use of mobile devices, is becoming more ubiquitous in the older population. And while over 91% of older adults own computers, more users are getting tablets, connecting to the internet through mobile devices, using social media, and entertaining themselves with device-based games.
As medical care needs increase with aging, elderly patients are more open to using technology. This offers an opportunity for healthcare providers to leverage mobile technology to collect real-time recovery progress from patients. Home device usage to complement medical care can keep patients connected during a typical “zone of darkness” following surgery, opening windows to prevent infection that were previously not visible.
Mobile Technology for Patient Outcomes – Clinical Study
Trusted Patient CoachTM, our patient reporting tool, was designed as an easy-to-use mobile app, specifically tested with an elderly population. Our clinical study showed how to prevent unnecessary office visits and hospital emergency department visits, and that patients well into their 70’s and early 80’s were willing – and able – to use mobile technology without difficulty. Moreover, these patients reported benefits of staying connected to their clinical team after discharge.
The opportunity to prevent readmissions and reduce medical costs for hospitals, clinicians and patients is significant. Clinicians are using TPC to stay connected to their patients, reinforcing medication compliance, and collecting real-time data to intercede before infection occurs. Let’s call that a win-win-win.