3 Keys to Driving Senior Tech Engagement
A central question in healthcare tech is how to support the adoption of relevant technologies by seniors. Although the number of seniors using smartphones and internet on a daily basis has increased significantly since 2013, many tech startups struggle to drive engagement among older Americans. A recent article in McKnight’s Senior Living addresses this issue, suggesting 3 strategies to encourage seniors to adopt healthcare tech.
Firstly, developers must remember that senior Americans already devote a significant amount of time and energy on a daily basis. In order to make it worthwhile for them to take on yet another healthcare task, healthcare tech must have a clear, significant and valuable impact on daily life.
The average 75-year-old deals with three or more chronic conditions and takes five or more medications. That’s a significant amount of added doctor appointments and daily regimens to sustain their health and independence. This means that adding one more factor to the mix with health technology must deliver daily value to stay relevant. And, for that matter, older adults shouldn’t be expected to keep up with technology that doesn’t prove itself a daily benefit in their life.
As seniors adopt health tech to aid in the aging experience, it is imperative that the technology they are letting into their lives makes a true difference.
Furthermore, healthcare tech that seeks to engage seniors must tailor itself to the needs of the senior population and be easy to access.
Older adults who have gone their entire lives without using health tech can’t be expected to search high and low for a solution that may or may not eventually make managing their health a little easier. If the technology is made available through their physicians or a local senior living community, however, then that accessibility removes the barriers to giving it a try. Once the technology is in an older adult’s hands, the daily value that it delivers will maintain engagement.
Caregivers must take on the important task of aligning their efforts with technology that is made specifically with seniors in mind. Although tech that has a broader generational reach can be useful in some cases, specific solutions for aging health applications are key to delivering that daily value that seniors seek. As aging individuals explore new technology, caregivers can streamline adoption by setting aside time to showcase how easy it is to integrate the solution into individuals’ daily lives, then taking time to check in with the older adults on any areas where they might benefit from further education.
Finally, companies should develop technologies that help caregivers as well as seniors. Engaged caregivers who are invested in new technologies can encourage seniors to use the technology and help them understand how to navigate it.
Senior health technology can give individuals the power to manage their health — and independence — to influence their aging experiences. Unfortunately, many older adults miss out on the array of benefits they stand to gain from health technology simply because they don’t understand how to use it or aren’t engaged with it. By streamlining tech adoption and working to make the entire experience more inviting and worthwhile, caregivers can ensure each individual sees the everyday value potential out there.