Baby Boomer Adoption of Healthcare Apps

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Patrick, Annie Y

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East Carolina University


In 2015, approximately 500 million smart phone users were estimated to use some type of health-related app. These apps are developed intending to promote health and wellness behavior in users. However, the simple availability of a technology such as an app does not imply that it will be used effectively for its intended purpose. An app with countless benefits may go unused if it does not appeal to the user. This research applies the factors of perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness as a theoretical foundation to understand how these factors and other elements affected the adoption of healthcare apps for smartphone devices among the Baby Boomer population of eastern North Carolina. The Baby Boomer population is the second largest age demographic in the United States; second only to the Millennials. Aging Baby Boomers are at an increased risk of developing chronic diseases that will lead to increasing costs for consumers, healthcare providers, and the government. Healthcare apps are new technologies that are developed to increase patient-centered care, thus decreasing costs and increasing quality of health. Healthcare apps have the possibility of being a great resource to the aging Baby Boomer population. However, there are limited studies investigating this population and their adoption of new technologies such as healthcare apps. Participants born between 1946 and 1964 in eastern North Carolina, chosen by snowball sampling, downloaded the healthcare app, CareZone onto their smartphone devices and used it for two weeks. After the two weeks, the participants were interviewed about their experience using smartphones, apps, and healthcare apps in particular.