Consumers and Health Technology
Do you think we sufficiently engage older consumers in developing health technology? If not, what would help to engage them?
24 months ago
I don't think we engage older consumers as much as we should. In fact, one of the most common feedback is that older adults are not tech friendly and so have difficulty using all the tech. As healthcare becomes more tech friendly, this becomes a large gap between product and user. A few ways to engage older customers
- Seek input before building the product: This is at the top of my list as a Design Thinking practitioner. Understand what problems they face/will face and try to design a solution that they can use
- Education: Educate them on how to effectively engage with technology
- Engage caretakers: Most older consumers have family members as caretakers, who are struggling to balance work, family and elder care. Any tech that can help make their life easier or have them worry less about their parents will be greatly appreciated. If the tech helps them, they will take on the role of educating the older population on how to use it.
Ann: Although I'm certainly not familiar with all of the user/consumer focus panels already engaged by health product/service providers, I have the sense that there is not enough engagement with highly capable seniors who have proven thought leadership or actual relevant hands-on marketplace leadership experience that could provide solid, challenging, free-thinking input to such conversations. Wisdom and experience are accumulated over time. Even though seniors may not be digital natives, many are quite adept, analytical, and fruitful in brainstorming marketable solutions for issues that are quite real to them at this stage of life. It seems that many nextgen digital natives believe they magically have all the perspective they need due to their ability to package something for web/mobile consumption... pretty limiting and likely to miss the mark for many seniors who are truly dealing with day-to-day issues/constraints and have the wealth to acquire products and services that cost-effectively enhance their lifestyle.