Viewpoint: Why don't seniors use wearable devices?

In a recent STAT op-ed, Paul Adams, senior director of product management for Philips Home Monitoring, argues that wearable device manufacturers should keep senior citizens in mind when designing their products.

At present, the wearable device market is dominated by younger consumers. Although many hypothesize that this trend arises due to seniors resisting new technology, Mr. Adams disagrees; he argues seniors were the "first group to adopt wearables," citing usage of wearable emergency response systems.

Mr. Adams calls on companies to learn the needs of the senior population. Many wearable devices are unintentionally designed for young users; for example, he notes wearable devices with small buttons and difficult to read interfaces are difficult for those with limited vision or conditions like arthritis.

"As these devices evolve to include voice recognition, video and predictive analytics, they will become even better suited to the unique needs and uses of seniors," he writes.

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