The Digital Path that Leads to Better Healthcare for Seniors

There is something close to a population explosion going on in America, not quite thanks to the birth rate but rather to the number of seniors living in the country beyond their 65th birthdays.

There will be an estimated 19 million citizens over the age of 65 in the US by the time we reach 2050, which is a near threefold increase in current rates as per census data. This means that there elder care will be something you should learn as you work toward your health informatics degree.

Digital health solutions are increasing patients’ options and providing a higher level of care through technology. Below are key points that should be driving the design of the digital health tech solutions that will become part of the mainstream care facilities and options.

Keep it Simple

There is an argument that the more digital options you present to a patient, the more confusing it will likely to be, especially for a senior who is not comfortable with the technology in the first place.

Simplicity and service are the key drivers that will produce high adoption rates of the technology that will improve and even save the lives of many seniors, so the message to the user experience designers in the health IT field would be: keep it simple.

Problem Solving Should be the Primary Focus

The majority of senior consumers are not interested in buying into the technology purely for technology’s sake. Their motivation may simply be: find a solution to their health problems. Creating solutions rather than gadgets will be key to increasing widespread adoption of health technologies.

Family Affair

Caregiving is a family affair and the current bill for American families is estimated to total $522 billion each year.

That divides into a quite a heavy financial burden for each family who have a senior that needs care. The promise of better technology to ease the monetary pressures and squeeze on their time spent providing that care is a key selling point.

This means that high-tech solutions to medical problems are best shared amongst family members, meaning that caregivers play a vital role in purchasing decisions that affect the lives of not just their loved ones.

It is an exciting digital path that the medical profession is following, but some may consider that it just needs to be sold to seniors in the right way to have the best possible impact and results.

Resources:
http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p25-1138.pdf
http://www.rand.org/pubs/external_publications/EP66196.html

 

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