From the sidelines to the playing field:
Tablets put seniors squarely in the high tech game (Excerpt)
Telecom, Media, and High Tech Extranet McKinsey and Company, June 2012
Senior citizens have often been left out of the consumer technology equation. At best, simplified versions of popular devices and services – such as e-mail that does not require a PC and large-button, single function mobile phones- have been launched as afterthoughts for the oldest consumers who tend to be farther behind the adoption curve. Tablets – whether by design or simply by nature – have changed the technology landscape for seniors.
Usability. For seniors, tablets address some of the biggest traditional barriers to technology. Arthritis and other impairments often limit a senior’s fine motor skills – a disability is incompatible with mouse and keyboard requirements. Tablets deliver touch screen technology, facilitating usage and minimizing user frustration.
Tablets also offer an improvement over one of the most traditional form factors- books. For those with poorer vision, a once enjoyed activity like reading could be a thing of the past. Not only can those with limited mobility avoid a difficult trip to a bookstore or library by downloading a book, they can also easily adjust the text size.
Healthcare. Tablets are also enabling greater independence for the elderly through remote evaluation and monitoring. From the diagnostic side, tablet-based mobile assessment tools provide a rapid assessment of a patient’s ability to complete mobility-related tasks. Tablets also enable ongoing care. One example is Angela, a specialized tablet designed to give patients medication and appointment reminders as well as video access to family and caregivers.