Get Everyone Online for Health

 

The release of a new Pew Internet Research Report called the Diagnois Difference funded by the California Healthcare Foundation has noted that

  1. People with chronic diseases are significantly less likely to have internet access than those without chronic diseases (72% vs 89%)
  2. Those with chronic diseases who are online use the Internet to find information and others who share the same chronic disease
  3. 45% of those aged 65 and over who were surveyed had 2 or more chronic diseases.

Chronic disease is statistically associated with advanced age and lower education, which are also  strongly associated with low internet access, and indeed, that connection is reflected in this study. Fully  75% of U.S. adults age 65 and older are living with a chronic condition, for example, and that age group  is the least likely to use the internet.

The ever-intelligent  Laurie Orlov is  smart enough to point out that here is our Opportunity…one that should also lower health care costs.  In the US, 53% of those over age 65 are online which means that 47% are not. Poorer, older and less educated adults are more likely to have chronic diseases and they are less likely to be online. They need the opportunitythat comes with being online.bigstock-Elder-woman-celebrating-her-on-45695032

Laurie Orlov suggests a national Online for Health” campaign that factors in the health-related benefits of doing so. We need to do the same here which Laurie smartly summarizes:

  • Leverage the younger to train the older
  • Slash the cost of high bandwidth connection
  • Run advocacy campaigns until the desired result is obtained . Given that Social Media use for those over 65 has increased greatly in the last few years; it’s Do-ABLE

Laurie Orlov knows of what she speaks – her pitch should be our pitch the  opportunity that we have right now to lower health care costs by helping older individuals get online to better manage their health.

I’m in. I’m a believer.

So, who wants to buy some Age Friendly Software in time for Christmas??