Wearable device adoption among older adults: A mixed-methods study

Int J Inf Manage. 2020 Dec:55:102209. doi: 10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2020.102209. Epub 2020 Aug 4.


Recently, the popularity of smart wearable technologies, such as Fitbit, has significantly increased. There are numerous potential benefits in using these devices, especially among seniors. Yet, little is known about seniors' adoption behavior. Through a mixed-methods approach, this study investigates the factors that impact seniors' intention to use wearable devices. Results from an online survey and interviews showed that seniors' perception of the complexity of working with these devices is a barrier to their adoption decisions. Looking more deeply into the role of complexity revealed that seniors' concern about the complexity of reading and interpreting the output of wearable devices is the main deterring element. Furthermore, we explored the role of two important elements: seniors' cognitive age, and the influence of their subjective well-being on their adoption behavior. Results demonstrated that cognitive age does not significantly impact use intention by itself; nonetheless, subjective well-being moderates its effect. This result revealed an interesting finding, which is that the influence of cognitive age on seniors' use intention depends on seniors' level of subjective well-being. When seniors' subjective well-being is low, surprisingly, cognitive age increases seniors' intention to use the device. These findings provide interesting implications for practice and future research.

Keywords: Cognitive age; Complexity; Older adults; Smart wearable devices; Subjective well-being.