ElderTech: Digital Health Divide
Updated: Nov 7
Older individuals have remarkably adapted to new technology, particularly in digital health. Despite the initial surge in adoption during the pandemic, older adults continue to embrace digital health and telemedicine services. Surprisingly, ageism has emerged as an unexpected limiting factor in the process.
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The Role of Ageism
Recent research published in the National Library of Medicine has shed light on ageism as a significant constraint to fully utilizing digital health among older adults. Healthcare professionals often underestimate older individuals' speed and readiness to adapt to these innovative technologies.
Factors Contributing to Ageism:
Lack of Training for Clinicians: Healthcare professionals often lack the necessary training to effectively introduce technology to older patients. This knowledge gap can hinder the integration of digital health solutions into the lives of older adults.
Exclusion from Studies and Trials: Older adults are frequently excluded from studies and trials focused on digital health products. This omission results in a lack of data and understanding of their needs and preferences.
Insufficient Research: There is a shortage of research focusing on strategies to enhance the adoption of digital health among older adults. It becomes challenging to tailor digital health services to their requirements without comprehensively understanding their unique challenges and motivations.
While older adults have proven to be enthusiastic adopters of digital health technologies, ageism poses a significant barrier. By addressing the challenges of ageism and implementing the suggested strategies, we can ensure that older individuals are not left behind in the digital health revolution. Bridging the digital health divide will benefit older adults and advance the quality of healthcare for all generations.