How older people can benefit from e-health

Definitions of e-health & m-health

E-health is a concept that has risen in prominence since around 2000, but still lacks a widely accepted definition. According to the WHO e-health is the transfer of health resources and healthcare by electronic means and m-health refers to the “the delivery of healthcare services via mobile communication devices” or “m-health is the use of mobile and wireless devices to improve health outcomes, healthcare services and health research.” Find website here

In our experience, Europe’s older population see a lot of potential in e-health and m-health applications and it is very keen to learn how to use new technologies if they respond to their needs. So engagement of users in the development and testing of e-health and m-health is crucial for its effectiveness. Look for example at this website (see print screen below):

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E-health and m-health applications are important for older people

Modern information and communication technology bridges geographical distances. In our research we found that it can help older people to increase their understanding of health matters, if the technology is simple and easy to apply. It can contribute to improving communication with care givers and service providers. It can enhance decision making related to health issues. Technology can support families and communities so that older people can live more healthily.

The impact of e-health and m-health can be significant

Research indicates that e-health and m-health applications for self-care are innovative and cost-effective methods of improving health literacy. Download PDF here Technology can help older people to deal with chronic illness over long periods of time. In particular, experiences in diabetes care are promising. Find website here

E-health and m-health applications are also innovative ways of addressing physical activity and healthy nutrition to promote health. Find website here