A January 2014 article by James Dias on epatientexperience.com calls attention to the growing shift of seniors toward digital communication technologies.
While the general idea of this movement may not be surprising to you, many providers are not aware of just how significant this shift has become. While only 52% of those who are 65 or older use the Internet today, there is a generation right behind them who are already taking this adoption rate to a much higher level.
As Dias says in the article, “the Boomers are coming”. Pew Research indicates that 77% of Americans age 50-64 are Internet users, and the article shares a few other telling stats to illustrate this shift toward digital communication:
- 42% of mobile phone owners 55 and older now have smartphones, according to Nielsen. They are quickly adopting tablets too.
- Pew says seniors are the fastest social media adopters in the U.S. (jumping from 26% to 43% of those 65+ in the past 3 years).
- Accenture recently found that 67% of seniors surveyed say that access to their health information is important, but only 28 percent currently have full access to their electronic health records.
The big question posed in the article entails when providers will adopt digital communication channels to connect with their patients. If you haven’t already looked in this direction, demographic data is telling us that now would be a good time to start.