Older adults likely to continue using wearable tech if get aid from healthcare peers: Study

New Delhi:  Older adults living in the community are more likely to continue using Wearable Monitoring Devices (WMDs), such as trackers, pedometers, and smartwatches, if they get support from healthcare professionals or peers, a new study has found.

In the study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the researchers from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University studied data from three randomised controlled trials involving over 150 older adults.

“Healthcare professionals play a pivotal role in facilitating the adoption of wearable monitoring devices among older adults,” said Dr Arkers Kwan Ching Wong, who led the research.

The data indicated that interventions focused on increasing awareness of monitoring and utilising collaborative goal-setting and feedback tools, such as the SystemCHANGE approach, improved adherence to WMDs.

WMDs can offer helpful health insights, but their long-term use can be challenging for older adults who may not be comfortable with technology or do not see the value in using it, the researchers noted.

However, the research highlighted that providing targeted support to assist older adults overcome these barriers and integrate WMDs into their daily routines can help maximise the potential health benefits of these devices.

“By working with healthcare professionals to set specific goals related to the use of wearables, older adults are more likely to benefit from these devices in the long term,” the researchers said.

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