E-Health and Older Adults

older people using laptop

People are increasingly looking for health information online. But what you find on the internet isn’t always the most reliable diagnosis.

Researchers at SiDE are looking at ways to help web users to identify sites offering reliable medical information, rather than just assume that the well-designed ones provide the best advice.

Many older adults trust information that they read online, and this could leave them open to unreliable, deceptive information, or potentially harmful advice.

Experienced web users are likely to be more convinced by websites that offer attribution, provide self-regulation policies, and cite third party certifications. However, some users put their faith in sites based on the fact they are easy to use and offer clear language.

The proposed research aims to identify features that mark out the most trustworthy health sites, and summarise them with ”credibility icons” that appear on search results. In this way, those looking for information can identify the most useful sites at a glance.

Researchers are also looking into the use of mobile eHealth applications and how they can be used by older adults. While older people are not the traditional market for mobile technologies, they can benefit from the information and feedback that apps offer about health activities. However, these apps must be adapted to the needs of older people before adoption can rise.

Contact Us

Vicki Hanson (vlh@computing.dundee.ac.uk)