Screenshot of the cover of Accenture's study.
Senior citizens in Singapore are increasingly becoming receptive to using health wearables.
Accenture's Silver Surfers Research found that the number of seniors who are willing to wear a health-monitoring device to track vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure, has nearly doubled over two years, from 43 percent in 2014 to 73 percent in 2016.
About four in five seniors believe wearable health devices provide health benefits. Benefits include understanding their health conditions (87 percent), engagement in one's own health (80 percent), and aids overall quality of care (77 percent).
The study also found that in general, 84 percent of seniors want digital options for accessing their health services from home.
Seventy-seven percent of seniors said they prefer using self-care technology to track their health. More of them are using digital tools to track their weight (73 percent in 2016 vs. 59 percent in 2014), monitor dietary intake (61 vs. 51 percent), manage cholesterol (59 vs. 45 percent) and track physical activity (52 vs. 43 percent).
Twenty-eight percent of the surveyed seniors also said that they prefer remote health visits if it meant seeing the doctor more frequently.
Top advantages of virtual visits cited include reduced costs to patients (59 percent) and accommodation of both patient (55 percent) and physician (41 percent) schedules.
Besides that, 82 percent of senior citizens in Singapore claimed that they are more likely to choose a provider who offers online appointment management. Four in five of the 55+ group are more willing to choose a provider who offers email or text reminders for preventative or follow-up care too.
"The preconceived notion that seniors just aren't tech-savvy is false," added Dr. Kaveh Safavi, senior managing director of Accenture's health practice. "In a country that has one of the world's most highly-connected populations, tech-savvy seniors are a natural extension of the ubiquity of connected devices and the high overall rates of technology adoption in Singapore."
"[Seniors in Singapore] expect to virtually manage aspects of their healthcare services online," added Dr. Julian Sham, who leads Accenture's health practice in Singapore. "What this means is that healthcare systems need to provide digital options to make healthcare more convenient for patients of all ages at every touch point."
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