Survey Finds Old Adults Hesitant To Incorporate Health-Tracking Apps

Despite being the demographic that stands to benefit significantly from increasingly inventive health monitoring technologies, older adults are not taking full advantage, according to a recently released survey from the University of Michigan. Smartphone-compatible health-tracking applications have become abundant in recent years, giving individuals insight into personal health with metrics on weight, blood pressure and sugar, activity levels, and more.

U-M’s inquiry, which took opinions from more than 2,000 adults aged 50 to 80 years old in August of last year, found that those with lower incomes as well as poorly managed chronic health conditions were more resistant to incorporating health apps. Approximately 56% of those surveyed indicated they’ve not once tried to operate them; a mere 28% have at least one app downloaded and in active use. Pointing to the noticeable juxtaposition in income brackets, those earning more than $100,000 a year were just over 40% likely to use health apps, while sub-$30,000 workers saw their chance of use fall to 15%.

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Age differences in this larger grouping were also a determining factor in likelihood of health app usage, with drop-off correlating with increased maturity of the individual. The probability of someone aged 65 even owning a smartphone landed at 61%, with 83% of the 50 to 64-year-old group likely to have one.