Although the new generations are part of the so-called “digital natives”, the experts who are driving trends in health do not know the in-depth tastes, desires, and ways of learning and interacting of young people with technology, due to the fact they belong to different digital generations. A research was conducted by the professors at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom – about how young people learn about health: the role of apps and wearable devices.
The study presents new evidence on how young people search for and use different types of devices and applications related to health. In this way, it will allow us to understand the challenges and opportunities for improvement in technologies for this target audience. Out of a total of 235 respondents, it could be seen that 35% of young people currently use an application or a portable device associated with health. This percentage is divided in turn between those who use a health app, a health-related device, and those who use both options.
The study shows the following opportunities for improvement for this type of application:
Easy and efficient content
It refers to the usability, practicality, and usefulness for people and how they adapt to their pace of life. Although in some cases, there may be the perception that they have a limited effect on the results that young people might expect from applications and devices.
One of the greatest opportunities for this type of application would be the difficulty of adapting to the needs of each user, without being generic, having even a higher level of personalization by gender, age, or other factors that could be considered as an opportunity based on the expected results and on the minimization of adverse effects that these technologies could cause when handled generically. It was possible to observe how there was a greater use when the applications and devices were adapted to the needs and particularities of the users, causing disappointments on the other hand by not receiving what they expected.
It was shown, how the use of health technologies by close people such as friends or relatives, marked a boost in the interest for their use, increased even by the widespread use by their social environment. The study shows that young people accessed this content if they considered it socially relevant; being here where there can be great opportunities if the collective use of the social environment is stimulated.
The digital health landscape is still emerging, but it is expanding at an accelerating rate. The recommendation will be to be attentive to the needs and particularities of each audience since it is proven that both adults and young people learn and interact in different ways. Understanding and adapting in a better way of health area is developing and guaranteeing in the future.