Nearly 30% of baby boomers use smartphones to manage, receive medical care: AARP report

Contrary to popular belief, Americans aged 50 and older are now adopting consumer technology at rates close to those of the 18-49 set, a new AARP report found.

Here are four takeaways from the report, based on surveys of more than 2,600 Americans aged 50 and above:

1. Though they are not typically the earliest adopters of new devices, older Americans eventually reach similar tech adoption rates to those of Generation X, millennials and Generation Z, and report using their devices on a near-daily basis.

2. Many members of this age group are open to the use of technology in healthcare: A total of 53 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer their medical needs to be managed by a combination of healthcare professionals and technology.

3. Furthermore, a sizable portion of the cohort already uses tech to manage their medical needs, with 28 percent reporting having used their smartphone to manage or receive medical care in the three months prior to the survey. One-quarter of respondents used their phones to access health and fitness information, and the same number said they used their devices to track their health and fitness using apps or websites.

4. Nearly 20 percent of Americans aged 50 and above own a health-tracking wearable device — an almost identical rate to that of the 18-49 group — and even more expressed interest in purchasing more devices to manage their health and fitness. Around 40 percent said they are interested in devices that remind users which medications to take and when to take them, and automatically deliver medication adherence reports and vital sign readings to their care providers.

Access the full report here.

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What healthcare can learn from retail's direct-to-consumer disruption

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