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The use of wearables and health apps and the willingness to share self-collected data among older adults
journal contributionposted on 2022-02-16, 00:33 authored by Alexander Seifert, Corneel VandelanotteCorneel Vandelanotte
Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which older adults utilize mobile health tracking tools in everyday life and their willingness to share the collected health-related data with doctors, health insurance companies, or research institutions. Methods: This study used a survey to assess mobile device use (smartphone, tablet, fitness tracker, and smart- watch), health app use (e.g., health insurance apps, fitness apps), and willingness to share health-related data in 1,149 Swiss adults aged ≥ 65 years. Results: 75.0% of the participants used at least one mobile device; 22.9% used health-related apps. Younger individuals and those with a strong interest in new technology had a higher likelihood of using health apps. Participants were more often willing to share their data with doctors than with health insurance companies or researchers; this willingness was also influenced by an affinity for technology. Discussion: These results support the promotion of mHealth adoption among older adults by developers and policymakers.