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Opportunities for Technology-Assisted Healthy Ageing in a Local Government Context.

  • Gordon, Susan1
  • Bidargaddi, Niranjan2
  • Immanuel, Sarah2
  • Fouyaxis, John3
  • Foley, Kristen1
  • Hall, Karinna1
  • Baker, Nicky1
  • 1 College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 2 College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 3 goAct Pty Ltd, Adelaide, Australia. , (Australia)
Published Article
Studies in health technology and informatics
Publication Date
Mar 02, 2020
DOI: 10.3233/SHTI200007
PMID: 32141880


Current legislation aims to enable older Australians to age in place, and puts public healthcare within the remit of local governments. As Australia's population ages, local governments will need to explore new methods of service delivery in order to meet the increasing need for services that promote healthy ageing. Information technology (IT) may provide one such solution, however older Australian adults are reported to have low levels of technology use. In this simple descriptive qualitative study, focus groups with local government staff and community-dwelling older adults explored their perspectives regarding: a) IT solutions that councils could use to promote community-based healthy ageing, and (b) the enablers and challenges for adopting such solutions. Twenty-four adults participated in focus groups, and eleven of these adults also provided written data in response to visual prompts. Field notes were recorded by attending researchers. These three data sources were combined through narrative synthesis. Local government staff and community-dwellers alike perceived the utility of IT solutions in connecting community members, and connecting people to services (such as transport and providers of health information). While local government staff identified that IT solutions could provide benefits to the council when implemented in conjunction with existing services (e.g., to track data and identify information about community engagement and needs), community-dwellers placed stronger emphasis on adopting technology which had a clear purpose for its use. Due to limited digital literacy and some ambivalence towards embracing technology, IT solutions should be implemented with support to increase digital literacy, be widely advertised, and be centered in community needs. Personas have been generated and provided as possible case studies for technology adoption.

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