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Technology and health care for the elderly medical research studies

Focus on strategic priorities that have significant social impact.

KS 2014-07

Communication Technologies for Engaging Patients, Families and Caregivers in the Health Care System: A Scoping Review

This review will be conducted in collaboration with the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE), an international knowledge transfer network headquartered at the Institute for Life Course and Aging at University of Toronto. The project team includes researchers and community organizations from a variety of professions and disciplines who have been working together to develop user-friendly tools for improving the health and well-being of older adults and their caregivers.

Project Contact: Lynn McDonald -- aging@utoronto.ca

Key Findings for Families

New communication technologies may help older adults communicate and use the healthcare systems, and may even help them access the resources they need.

  • The types of technology that were most commonly studied were web-based, specialized technologies and cell phones
  • Overall the new communication technologies were promising as a way of improving how older adults interact and use the healthcare system. But, if these technologies are going to be helpful and improve healthcare they need to be user-friendly

Why This Matters

The use of new technology is becoming more common in healthcare. The use of these technologies may help patients and families/caregivers interact and talk with healthcare providers, but how useful they are among older adults and their families/caregivers is not known.

About This Study

  • This study used scoping review methods. A scoping review is a way to find all research on the use of communication technologies for older adults
  • Studies were included in this review if they researched older adults (55+ years old) and new communication technologies (not phone or video-conferencing)

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