Patient perspectives on everyday use of digital health technologies in later life

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This symposium focuses on the everyday use of digital health technologies in later life and presents research into patient perspectives on three different technologies: email consultations, video consultations and health applications (apps) for physical health management. The symposium addresses some of the ways in which the introduction of new digital solutions such as digital consultations and health apps are influencing and changing health practices in later life. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused further rapid changes to the healthcare system, wherein digital health solutions have become more
relevant than ever.
Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews, we present results from three research studies on email, video and apps and offer qualitative insights into the older patients’ management and perception of health and help seeking through digital
technology. The studies presented are carried out in Denmark, which in 2020 led the 193 United Nations member states in terms of digital government (United Nations, 2020), making the Danish context an important case to investigate. Moreover, Denmark has the highest number of email consultations sent and received in Europe (Newhouse et al., 2015) and in later life, these digital consultations are used with the highest frequency. In general practice, email consultations and video consultations now supplement the consultations that are conducted by telephone, physical consultations in a clinic or during a home visit hereby providing patients with the opportunity to receive medical expertise without having to visit the general practitioner’s clinic. Furthermore, the Danish health authorities aim to integrate digital health applications in their repertoire of services, permitting citizens to initiate health management efforts outside the context of general practice.
Questions addressed by the symposium include: How are digital health technologies (email, video and apps) used and perceived in later life? Which forms and understandings of care do the digital technologies in question afford and hamper? And which potentials and pitfalls are in a patient perspective emerging as older patients self-optimize and self-govern through the use of digital health technology?

Reference 1:
Newhouse, N., Lupiáñez-Villanueva, F., Codagnone, C., & Atherton, H. (2015). Patient Use of Email for Health Care
Communication Purposes Across 14 European Countries: An Analysis of Users According to Demographic and HealthRelated Factors. J Med Internet Res, 17(3), e58. doi:10.2196/jmir.3700
Reference 2:
United Nations. (2020). COVID-19 pushing more government activities online despite persistent digital divide, annual egovernment survey finds.
Publikationsdato8. jun. 2022
StatusUdgivet - 8. jun. 2022
Begivenhed26th Nordic Congress of Gerontology: Change and Continuity - Odeon, Odense, Danmark
Varighed: 8. jun. 202210. jun. 2022


Konference26th Nordic Congress of Gerontology