Evolving factors influencing consumers' attitudes towards the use of eHealth applications: implications on the future of Neom

Int Health. 2022 Mar 2;14(2):152-160. doi: 10.1093/inthealth/ihab020.

Abstract

Background: Factors affecting the adoption and use of eHealth applications have been extensively researched from different perspectives in different regions. However, with the changing circumstances (e.g. the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic), new influencing factors might evolve and can influence the attitudes of consumers towards using eHealth applications. The purpose of this study was to identify and evaluate the evolving factors affecting consumer attitudes towards the use of eHealth applications and provide implications for the future of Neom.

Methods: An online survey questionnaire was used to collect data from 976 eHealth consumers in Saudi Arabia, which included 527 male and 449 female participants. Findings were analysed using the statistical means and standard deviations for each item in the questionnaire to analyse the role of each factor in depth. Statistical t-tests were used to identify significant differences between the groups categorised by age and gender.

Results: 'Necessity but not interest' (mean 4.5 [standard deviation {SD} 1.12]) and fear (mean 4.5 [SD 1.13]) and psychological factors including depression (mean 4.4 [SD 1.54]), stress (mean 4.2 [SD 1.09]) and anxiety (mean 4.3 [SD 1.61]) were identified to be major evolving influencing factors, while other factors including performance expectancy, ease of use, enjoyment and incentives were identified to be comparatively less influential.

Conclusions: Increasing adoption of eHealth mainly due to necessity but not out of interest can have serious implications for patients and the adoption of eHealth technologies in the future.

Keywords: attitudes; digital health; eHealth; influencing factors.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • COVID-19*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine*