A Field Study of Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment using Tablets for Communication at Home: Closing Technology Adoption Gaps using InTouch

A Field Study of Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment using Tablets for Communication at Home: Closing Technology Adoption Gaps using InTouch

Aaron Yurkewich (University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada), Anita Stern (University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada), Rushmita Alam (George Brown College, Toronto, Canada) and Ron Baecker (University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/IJMHCI.2018040101
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Abstract

This article describes how a tablet-based communication technology designed for older adults was explored for its adoption and impact on family relationships. A case study methodology was employed to collect and analyze interviews, field notes, observations and messaging activity over a 12 week period. Twelve participants, eight with a Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score suggestive of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), were paired with a student to learn and use InTouch. 1212 messages were sent, from which text, audio, photo, and video data types were used 705, 280, 143 and 84 times, respectively. Most participants voiced that personalized text messaging was not the easiest feature to use, but was their preferred mode. Two participants used audio more than text, highlighting a need for feature customization. Older adults view a simplified tablet-based interface as a valuable means of enhancing communication with friends and family. With guided weekly support older adults learned to use this technology independently and integrated its use into their daily lives.
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Background

A literature survey was completed to identify field studies and reviews on older adults using social communication technology such as commercial and custom-made email, messaging, and social networking services (SNS). Insights from these articles are organized using the stages of the Technology Acceptance Model to identify key research gaps for improving the usability of these technologies and services.

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