The amount of senior citizens in the U.S. who currently own smartphones is at 53%, up from 42% in 2017. Of senior smartphone users, 12% are smartphone dependent, meaning they rely on their smartphone for online access.
"The consumerization of all facets of life is changing the aging experience for many people,” said Rob Havasy, managing director of the Personal Connected Health Alliance and senior director of connected health at HIMSS. “Activities of daily living are more manageable because of technology, and even if individuals aren't strong technology users themselves, families and caregivers can use these tools to help extend a loved one's independence.” This way, the inability to get to a mailbox or drive a car can have less of an impact on whether or not an individual can maintain independence and their personal health, he explained.
“Technology is allowing for a completely different model to emerge, where you don’t have to go to a healthcare provider; you can be at home and see a physician using technology, or someone can come to your home once a week and help you,” said Rod Piechowski, MA, CPHIMS, vice president of thought advisory at HIMSS. “This is all part of that consumerization process; there will be more and more services that are available that you will have to choose from.”
Watch the American Medical Association's chief medical information officer talk with HIMSS TV about how to solve the connected care problem.
With the impending silver tsunami, the increasing connectivity enabled by technology can not only help an individual maintain their health and independence, but it can also help prevent overcrowding in healthcare facilities—many of which are not prepared to take in the amount of elderly patients that will need care and supervision in the coming years. As more people with chronic conditions come into the system than its infrastructure can handle, we need trust in digital tools and care teams, standards and strict criteria about evidence, shared Michael Hodgkins, MD, MPH, chief medical information officer with the American Medical Association.
Health apps are some of the most impactful forms of health innovation readily available to consumers today, both old and young. Here are just a few different aspects of health and wellness they can help maintain or improve:
Though there is still an imperative to expand access to broadband and telehealth services in many parts of the U.S. and other countries, a significant amount of senior citizens—as well as their families—have access to a variety of tools to stay empowered as healthcare consumers. With these advancements, the future of aging is becoming brighter than ever.
Learn more about these topics at HIMSS20:
March 9–13, 2020 | Orange County Convention Center | Orlando, Florida
We’re reimagining global health and wellness—one person at a time. See how at HIMSS20.