The health and fitness industry is awash with gadgets and apps designed to help people stay fit, motivated and healthy. From wearable devices to track activity, to smart phone apps or websites that record calories, there’s no shortage of technological tools to help people monitor their health and fitness levels. But if you think that digital health technology is predominantly for the young, think again. We are seeing a boom in Silver Surfers – the term given to people aged 65 and over who use digital technology on a daily basis. What’s really interesting, though, is how many of these people use technology for health reasons.
It might surprise you to learn that 57% of Australians aged 65 plus believe that technology is vital to managing their health. Furthermore, 56% use technology at least monthly to manage their health, and 52% say this is because technology helps them understand their conditions and medications.
These findings come from a recent study by Accenture that investigated the role that consumer-focused digital technologies play in the future of aged care.
According to the report, “digital health tools empower [older Australians] to engage with the healthcare system as informed consumers, at a stage of life when health and wellness is a primary concern… These trends show that health services could use digital channels—along with improvements in health literacy—to better engage with local aged populations.”
The study goes on to explain that increasing numbers of seniors are using wearable technology, including smart glasses and wrist-worn displays, and in-home monitoring devices that help them track their vital signs and understand their health conditions.
The report encourages this adoption of digital health tools, citing it as “the cornerstone of a 21st Century healthcare system that is patient-centred, data-driven and wellness focused”.
And at Five Good Friends, we couldn’t agree more. Our technological platform for in home care aims to improve service delivery, transparency, connectedness and communication for people who need care and their families. With our easy-to-use app, our members and their families get more control over the care and services they recieve.