Global Health and IT Solutions

23 Pages   |   4,166 Words
Table of Contents
Executive Summary. 3
Introduction. 3
Topic area. 4
Title. 4
Research Question. 4
Project Objectives. 4
Review of Existing Research. 5
Methodology. 9
Findings. 9
Implications of your research. 10
Conclusion. 10
References. 12
Appendix. 13
Questionnaire. 13
Figures. 17 

Executive Summary

The aim of this research was to evaluate the use of assistive devices by the elderly and how the devices such as PERS (Personal Emergency Response (some concern about grammar)Systems), Accessible Computer input, Durable Medical Equipment, Cognitive Orthotics and assistive devices for those with a hearing impairment such as TDD and Audiometer are being perceived as by the elderly and how such devices help the elderly in alleviating their problems.
The review of existing literature showed that the elderly people were willing to adapt to changes if they were made aware of how to use those devices as they found most devices difficult to use and understand and indicated that such devices led to complications in life rather than ease. However, a few did show an inclination towards some of the technological devices but found them to be expensive to purchase.
The research resulted, which was brought about by conducting a survey through a questionnaire, in showcasing the fact that the elderly mostly were not willing to adopt such technological devices, not because they did not want to but because they were expensive to get. Otherwise they were willing to remain aware of such technological innovations and they found those products convenient to use as well. 85% of the sample population found them to be expensive and indicated that this was the factor that prevented them from using these devices. The implications of the research show that in the practical world such a research would be very useful as such technological advancements need to be provided at a cheaper rate to the elderly and the elderly need to be adequately informed on how to use the products so as to fully benefit from such devices.


Global advancement has been progressing at a very rapid rate during this century.(in what sense ? the flattening of the world) The filed of medical research has also certainly progressed around the world as such technological advancements take place. These technological advancements that occur in the medical and health sector have certainly helped in the easing of many troubles that most people perceive either in their early childhood, teens, adulthood or when they are old.
However it has been observed that elderly people suffer the most from such ailments that deteriorate their health and due to their old age are un-able to conform to the global technological practices. This factor is of the most concern as the elderly comprise of the largest share of people that suffer the most due to lack of knowledge or understanding of the devices that would indeed benefit them if they knew how to use and even if they were to be shown, they would sometimes forget or would deem those devices as cumbersome. ( where are some references to support this)
Hence this research has been carried out so as to observe how the elderly people welcome the technological advancements being made and the devices they might or might not use and how they have helped them if indeed they have used them. The assistive devices in particular are a means of reducing their impairment by making them adapt to such changes that they might have to now face when old with such disabilities either through childhood or with age. These devices have been made to assist the people with motor, hearing, visual and speech disabilities.

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Topic Area

The topic area under discussion tries to establish a link between global health of the elderly people with the technological advancements being made in the health sector especially in the number of technological devices being produced to assist the elderly and to make them independent.


Global health and Information Technology Solutions

Research Question

Do the elderly people find such technological assistive devices, such as PERS (Personal Emergency Response Systems), Accessible Computer input, Durable Medical Equipment, Cognitive Orthotics and assistive devices for those with a hearing impairment such as TDD and Audiometer, as being sustainable, easy to use, cheap and convenient to get and whether they are able to adapt themselves to the technological advancements that do occur in the health sector, or not?( this is one LONG research questions! Simplify and make it shorter)

Project Objectives

The objectives or aim of this research is to:
  • Study whether the elderly people are able to adapt themselves to technological advancements
  • Study whether the elderly people with impairments are updating themselves regarding the technological devices that are being produced for their use.
  • Study whether such technological devices are convenient, sustainable, and easy to use for the elderly.
  • Study the link between impairments being indicated by the level of usage of assistive devices with the elderly people and their health concerns and whether such concerns are being addressed or not.

Review of Existing Research

Research has led to the observation that many companies are working towards finding better means of assisting the elderly as with the advancement in technology it has been observed that les and less people tend to care for their elderly relatives because with such rapid global expansion, the countries are trying to catch up with each other to remain ahead economically. Hence with such exceeding globalization it has become necessary that such technologies be made available to the elderly so that they become independent and with the use of assistive devices, research has shown that the elderly people can become independent as those devices will help reduce their impairments and will take care of health related problems as well (Roelands, Oost, Buysse, & Depoorter, 2002).(please check the citing , more than three authors )
Recent research has shown that assistive robots are being made for the elderly for those with a cognitive impairment while living at home. The study conducted revealed that the elderly people did not appreciate or welcome the existence of such robots with reference to the care that they will be providing and they did not welcome the need for the robots to fill in the presence for living human beings. The focus group conducted by the authors revealed that they were more likely to agree to the robots doing menial work around the house rather than fulfilling their social needs as taking care of them and their health(Riguad, Fassert, & Wu, 2011).
In addition to this further research findings have shown that such an advancement in this field of taking care of the elderly through the use of assistive devices has shown that a decrease has been brought about in the public health challenges that were being faced globally. Furthermore, research has revealed that although the level of death illness has decreased considerably in the developed nations, it is the developing nations that are more in need of such technological advancements that will combat such impairments and health related problems (Elias, 2009).
Although the above research indicated that the elderly did not appreciate the use of such devices as robots it was seen that they did in fact welcome such technological advancements that were easier and more convenient to use. Another focus group conducted by the authors revealed that they in fact, that is the elderly, welcomed the use of assistive devices and the positive attitude far out-numbered the negative perceptions of the elderly towards such devices.
The negative perceptions arose from the conception that the elderly found such devices as being un-helpful and providing inconveniences in life. In addition to this fact it was also revealed that they found such assistive devices un-reliable. Therefore it was highlighted that if more awareness was spread about the particular usage of those assistive devices then the elderly will be more inclined to view them in a favorable light. Hence such educational centers should be set up that solely focus on providing information on how to use such products that may help them in the alleviating their problems (Mitzner, et al., 2010).
Other researches indicated that if such ambience intelligence related technological devices were installed in the homes of the elderly that would monitor the conditions of the elderly people and would raise an alarm if the elderly people were being inconvenienced in any way due to their health problems worsening or the elderly meeting with accidents. This would then enable the elderly people to age in place without any complications being incurred by the elderly (Cheng, Chuang, & Pei, 2011).
This device was welcomed and appreciated by the elderly as they found it could help ensure their safety and security if they were to have such devices installed at home. These products monitor many disabilities such as “mobility and voice monitoring, fire detection and as well as wandering detection and prevention”. In addition to this it also showed that the elderly people were more pleased with un-obtrusive devices that would not hamper their day-to-day life. However, further research needs to be conducted in this department alone (Hoof, Kort, Rutten, & Duijnstee, 2011).
Another research depicted the fact which was in line with the rest of the research conducted that “health informatics” regarding the elderly people is a field of research that is still under consideration and has as yet not been able to completely signify all the interests of the elderly. Hence this implies that the concerns of the elderly people are not being fully met by the available technological devices at hand.
Moreover, not much information is available on the data concerning the aging process of the elderly and the stages by which the need for those devices sets in place, that is to say that with different age levels different needs are to be met and not such information is available on that score. In addition to this gender differences and the usage of those devices across gender have not been researched about at all (Meng & Lee, 2005). Hence more research is till needed in such a field of interest to fully determine the link between information technology and global health of the elderly and how such a technological revolution in the medical and health sector can support the elderly (Koch & Hagglund, 2009).
It was observed that the fraction of elderly people as opposed to the total young and adult population has been steadily on the rise and this has led to a further increase in the costs of healthcare. Therefore, it is imperative that technological advancements be made so as to decrease the costs that may arise due to the above mentioned factor.
Hence a need was identified for the elderly people to adapt to such changes and adopt the use of assistive technological devices to alleviate their problems. Results of the research indicated that such usage of the devices was definitely on the rise and older people were more prone to using computers than “unhealthy coevals”. However the results also indicated that the elderly people did not share the notion that such devices could improve their standard of living or the quality of their life. Hence it was shown that the elderly people were still against these devices and were not ready to adapt to them or even adopt them. His was because they found them to be too complex and expensive (Heart & Kalderon, 2011).
The authors here reveal while supporting the case of the above researches conducted that as technological innovations are made cost increases too because those innovations are more costly than the traditional treatments of those ailments and problems that frequent the elderly (Sutcliffe, Fickas, Sohlberg, & Ehlhardt, 2003). Hence such costs might prove to be disadvantageous as the elderly people will not be able to adopt these technological innovations. However, a solution to this came in the form of introducing incentives to the elderly so as to induce them to purchase such products as long as they are being made. Thereby markets are created by inducing and persuading the elderly that such innovations are beneficial to them(Dozet, Lyttkens, & Nystedt, 2002).
The authors established the fact that those elderly people who used assistive technological devices were more prone to fall into a depressive state than those who did not use the assistive devices for their health benefit. A strong likelihood was perceived by the authors that the people who used such devices were more likely to suffer from CDS, current depressive symptoms, than the non-users. This then reflects the fact that by using these assistive devices, the elderly people do suffer from some sort negative side-effects and that such devices are not without their dis-advantages. The social variables that were assisting in reaching this conclusion were age and employment status that made them go into depression. They associated their impairments with the assistive devices that they used and thus went into depression due to it (Okoro, Strine, Balluz, Crews, & Mokdad, 2010).
Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is that when such technological devices are being introduced they should be made available to the elderly population by making them easy to locate from where they live. Hence location is also a factor that contributes towards the usage of such products, with healthcare agents at work to monitor the health of the individuals as well provide such services that the technological devices are unable to provide (Doukas, Metsis, Becker, Le, Makedon, & Maglogiannis, 2011).
Moreover, when analyzing the durable medical equipment and the benefits it offers to the elderly it came about that a quarter of the sample population were medicated by this device and that this equipment is not being used to its full advantage, thus representing under-use of this equipment (Bateni & Maki, 2005). Hence care needs to be taken that such devices are not under used but are used for the purpose they were built for in an effective manner so as to assist the elderly. Currently a minority if the population in America is using such a device and research has revealed that this equipment does indeed improve the quality of life for the elderly (Iwashyna & Christie, 2007).
Good literature review – try to blend the arguments into similar paragraphs. Every paragraph should have at least one reference, if not more. I would also recommend using sub-headings to break the content down and improve the flow of the section.


A survey methodology approach will be followed.
(How did you identify ? How long did the survey take to complete ?did you email them,or see them face to face.Each informant will be given 20 questions to answer. The basic aim of the questionnaire will be to find out whether the informants find such assistive devices useful and whether such devices will help them alleviate their problems. Furthermore, they will also try to determine whether such assistive devices are easy to get, convenient to use, cheap and are compatible or not, that is whether they will be able to use it for a long period of time. In addition to this the questionnaire will also aim to evaluate whether the people that are above 65 years of age find such technological assistive devices easy to adapt to. The sample population of this research will be ten people.
I will then evaluate the responses received by each informant and would then try to determine the relationship that exists between the technological assistive devices and how the elderly people perceive them as. The research findings of that questionnaire will be represented using pie charts and such figures that will help in evaluating the responses.


The findings indicate that (include the pie charts in the body of the report,then refer to them as you write up the finding )at least 45% of the majority of the elderly people pay 40% and above of their income or pension that funds their medical bills. This clearly indicates that the cost of using such devices is a serious issue that needs to be tackled. Moreover, 50% of the sample population suffered mostly from hearing disabilities therefore the devices should be made in order to incorporate the current demand of the population. When analyzing the fact whether such elderly people were aware of the assistive technological devices, it came about that 70% of the sample population were aware of these devices and in particular were aware of PERS (Personal Emergency Response Systems), Accessible Computer input, Durable Medical Equipment, Cognitive Orthotics and assistive devices for those with a hearing impairment such as TDD and Audiometer.
In addition to this fact, the elderly people wanted to stay abreast of any technological advancements being made as they did want to benefit from such assistive devices and the advantages that it had to offer as 80% of the sample population wanted to be kept in awareness. Their awareness mostly came through perusing magazines as 43% were informed of such devices through them. Around 40% of the sample population occasionally used these assistive devices which indicate that there is sufficient need present for these devices.
70% of the population found these particular devices easy to use when they were made aware of how to use them. 80% of the sample population found these assistive devices inconvenient to get implying that they were not readily available. Around 85% of the sample population indicated that such devices were expensive to purchase and 35% showed that these devices were moderately efficient when used. Even though these assistive devices did alleviate their problems, around 45% of the population found it more convenient to visit the doctor rather than use such devices as remedies.
Good – just needs the pie charts.

Implications of Research

This research does bring about certain facts into notice. Hence this research will prove to be of immense use practically as it can bring to notice certain elements that need to be regarded when considering the production of assistive devices.
The findings of this research have led me to believe that the devices need to be simplified and should be provided at low cost for the elderly people. Moreover, this research could help in future research in this field and can highlight the importance of such devices for the elderly and for the need to keep them informed of such technological innovations.
The implications of the research show that in the practical world such a research would be very useful as such technological advancements need to be provided at a cheaper rate to the elderly and the elderly need to be adequately informed on how to use the products so as to fully benefit from such devices.
Relate the findings to business – how can your findings help the business


In conclusion it is imperative to note that this research in collaboration with the findings of the other research conducted by the authors reveal that there is a need for the elderly to be properly targeted so as to fully exploit the benefits of such devices.
To bring such an eventuality, the government needs to take interest in this matter and needs to push the cost of such devices down so as to bring about an increase in the usage of such devices. Moreover, the government also needs to concentrate on spreading awareness about such devices so that they can effectively use it in a knowledgeable manner.
Apart form this certain policies need to be made so as to provide easy access to such devices for the elderly so as to make them convenient for their use as research has indicated that if they are not convenient to get then they will not pursue these devices so as to use them. Furthermore care needs to be taken that such devices are not under used but are used for the purpose they were built for in an effective manner so as to assist the elderly as currently these devices are being under used by the people globally especially the developing nations. Therefore, the developed nations need to work in collaboration so as to provide the elderly of the developing nations with these devices for their use as well so as to bring down the illness and disabilities amongst the elderly population of the world.


Doukas, C., Metsis, V., Becker, E., Le, Z., Makedon, F., & Maglogiannis, I. (2011). Digital cities of the future: Extending @home assistive technologies for the elderly and the disabled. Telematics and Informatics , 176-190.
Dozet, A., Lyttkens, C. H., & Nystedt, P. (2002). Health care for the elderly: two cases of technology diffusion. Social Science and Medicine , 49-64.
Elias, C. J. (2009). Policies and Practices to Advance Global Health Technologies. CSIS Global Health Policy centre .
Heart, T., & Kalderon, E. (2011). Older adults: Are they ready to adopt health-related ICT? International Journal of Medical Informatics .
Hoof, J. V., Kort, H. S., Rutten, P. G., & Duijnstee, M. S. (2011). Ageing-in-place with the use of ambient intellignece technology: Perspective of older users. International Journal of Medical Informatics , 310-331.
Iwashyna, T. J., & Christie, J. D. (2007). Low use of Durable Medical Equipment By Chronically Disabled Elderly. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management .
Koch, S., & Hagglund, M. (2009). Health Informatics and the delivery of care to older people. Maturitas , 195-199.
Mitzner, T. L., Boron, J. B., Fausset, C. B., Adams, A. E., Charness, N., Czaja, S. J., et al. (2010). Older adults talk technology: Technology usage and attitudes. Computers in Human Behavior , 1710-1721.
Okoro, C. A., Strine, T. W., Balluz, L. S., Crews, J. E., & Mokdad, A. H. (2010). Prevalence and correlated of depressive symptoms among United States adults with disabilities using assistive technology. Preventive Medicine , 204-209.
Riguad, A.-S., Fassert, C., & Wu, Y.-H. (2011). Designing robots for the elderly: Appearance issue and beyond. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics .



This questionnaire is intended for the sole purpose of conducting research only. Your help will be highly appreciated in answering the questions truthfully.
  1. What age group do you belong to?
    1. 55-60
    2. 61-65
    3. 66-70
    4. 71 and above
  2. What is your gender?
    1. Female
    2. Male
  3. What percentage of your income/pension fund goes towards your medical bills?
    1. 10%
    2. 20%
    3. 30%
    4. 40% and above
  4. Are you professionally occupied?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  5. Which health problems from the list below do you encounter?
    1. Hearing impairment
    2. Motor Disabilities
    3. Cognitive/language disabilities
    4. None of the above
  6. On a scale of 1 to 5, rank how frequently these health problems cause disturbances in life with 1 being least occurring and 5 being most occurring?
Least Occurring Sometimes Occurring Occasionally Occurring Frequently Occurring Most Occurring
  1. Do you frequently go to a clinic or hospital for your treatment?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  2. Are you aware of the health related technological devices listed below?
Personal Emergency Response Systems Accessible Computer input Durable Medical Equipment Cognitive Orthotics
  1. Yes
  2. No
  1. Do you update yourself constantly about the technological advancements that might occur in the health sector?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  2. If you do or do not then what medium do you use to inform yourself and keep yourself updated about the technological devices, or not?
    1. Newspapers
    2. Magazines
    3. Websites
    4. Nothing at all
  3. Do you wish to use assistive technological devices?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  4. How often do you use any of the below mentioned health related technological devices?
Personal Emergency Response Systems Accessible Computer input Durable Medical Equipment Cognitive Orthotics
  1. All the time
  2. Frequently
  3. Occasionally
  4. Not at all
  1. How well informed are you of the usage of the below mentioned technological devices? Rank your knowledge by circling the number on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being least informed and 5 being most informed.
Personal Emergency Response Systems Accessible Computer input Durable Medical Equipment Cognitive Orthotics
Least Informed A bit informed Moderately so More than Moderately Informed Most Informed
  1. Do you find them easy to use?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  2. Are they convenient to get?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  3. Do you find them expensive to purchase?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  4. Do you find them to be sustainable for long term usage?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  5. Do you encounter any negative side-effects while using them?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  6. Do they efficiently target the problems and alleviate them? Rank from 1 to 5 with 1 being least efficient ant 5 being most efficient.
Least Efficient Less Efficient Moderately Efficient
Most Efficient
  1. What strategies do you implement to ease your health related problems?
    1. Go to the doctor
    2. Use the technological devices
    3. Depend on someone (family member or nurse)
    4. None at all

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