Ageing in the Age of Digital: 3 Risks and 4 Opportunities
Today, there is almost an app for everything. From viewing your online bank statement to ordering your favorite pizza to monitoring the kennel activity of your dog from work, you can do these things through an app.
In term of getting any service or a product like the best Niagen supplement, most millennials made it clear that they can get what they want whenever they need to. Indeed, retailers are now making efforts to cater to these demands by making sure that their clients’ get 24/7 access to what they need.
This approach also began to appear in healthcare as more and more retail health clinics are continuously popping up. Indeed, the digital age benefits the younger generations. But does it also affect the aging population?
3 Risks of Aging in the Digital Age
The adoption of Internet usage and social media among the older generations has its risks and downsides, including difficulty finding reliable resources, distraction, and technology usability.
1. Finding Reliable Sources Online
With plenty of information on the Internet, it can be hard for seniors to detect reliable sites. Websites that are not trustworthy can lead to possible misdiagnosis. Also, they can get scammed.
When it comes to searching for health information, you must avoid websites sponsored by unofficial personnel and products. Instead, look for sites that provide information based on research and studies.
Technological innovations in the digital age can distract people as well as affect one’s memory. When you are focused on your account and always looking at your phone, you won’t notice what is going on around your world.
The distracting effects of technology are usually associated with those who are high-frequency users. But this can affect people of all ages, too. Distraction does not just affect safety but can also limit the thinking capabilities of your brain and hamper thought processes.
3. Technology Usability
Technology that failed to address the incapacitating factors of age has also become problematic for the elderly. Tech advances that weren’t customized for older adults will make it too difficult for you to read information online and even to use your smartphone.
4 Opportunities of Aging in the Digital Age
1. Less-frequent Travel
Older adults can enjoy the convenience that digital care solutions offer, especially those who suffer from chronic health conditions. The need for frequent care means a host of trips to the clinic or hospital. With digital care solutions, you can receive the care you need without the hassle of always traveling or asking a family member to transport you for a checkup.
2. More Time in Your Own Home
If you are still capable of living alone but suffering from chronic conditions, you will need frequent, specialized care. However, you can receive them even without leaving your home.
With digital health solutions, you can have access to care from your own home. You can now exchange emails with providers, chat by video instead of in-person, and buy health products like food and dietary supplements. Moreover, you can already make use of digital monitoring devices like blood glucose monitors that can send alerts to your doctor if daily measures are higher.
As you get older and some healthcare providers are not keeping pace, convenient and affordable digital health solutions will continue to enhance traditional in-office appointments. In turn, this will allow you to effectively manage your health and maintain your independence.
4. Electronic Health Records
The aging population is increasing but there is a shortage of healthcare providers. Thus, healthcare facilities are implementing a system allowing health records to be shared online with healthcare professionals and patients.
This system has indeed opened doors to different digital services, making it possible for you to consult with your physician through video chat on your laptop or smartphone. Moreover, you can now receive your test or lab results from your physician’s online portal.
As you age, you have to adjust to new lifestyles but one thing remains constant – you have to remain safe and healthy. And with today’s wide array of digital health options, you can stay ahead of your health, but only if you know how to use them. So make sure you are informed of both the risks and opportunities of aging in the digital age. Mitigate these risks and take advantage of all opportunities.
About the Author
Frank L. Jaksch Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of ChromaDex. He oversees research, strategy, and operations for the Company with a focus on scientific and novel products for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets. Mr. Jaksch earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Valparaiso University.