We all know baby boomers are aging. They are getting older in a time when there are more and more simple digital tools available to their caregivers every day. You might be surprised that in U.S. households that have broadband, where 76% own a smartphone, less than 40% of caregivers use an app to assist with care-giving tasks.
A new study from Parks Associates shares this finding, and attributes the relatively low overall utilization rate to the simple fact that caregivers above a certain age don’t use apps as much as their younger counterparts. This is a present challenge to app adoption – but aging itself ought to take care of it, given that adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are currently only 28% of the caregiver population but account for half of the app users (according to Parks).
Parks has a very clear prescription: the makers and marketers of consumer healthcare apps need to develop outreach and training programs that will attract the largest cohort of caregivers – those between 45 and 54 years of age. Twenty-seven percent of caregivers fall in this age-range, but they make up only 16% of the app users.
Earlier this year, Becker’s compiled a list of 40 helpful apps for physicians and consumers to know. Everseat was glad to be listed for helping patients and their caregivers get the appointments they need without needing to call the doctor’s office.
Other tools useful for caregivers on the Becker’s List include Amwell for telehealth visits, Pillpack and Medisafe for ease of filling prescriptions and managing a schedule for taking medications according to doctor’s orders, and Twine for supporting chronic disease patients by integrating their wearable tech devices into a stream of data their caregivers and physicians can put to use.
In short – there are many apps available and more all the time. As for the long-term future of app usage by caregivers, Aditi Pai of Mobihealthnews reports that according to Parks Associates Senior Director of Research Harry Wang, “Consumers in the 35-44 age range are a key bracket,” he said. “Those currently at this age will bring apps with them as they take on more caregiver responsibilities for their aging parents. At the same time, younger consumers will age into this segment, and these millennials will lean heavily on mobile and connected technologies as they prepare to tackle caregiver challenges in their families.”