Designing and Evaluating Online Telehealth Systems for Seniors
The increasing cost of senior healthcare represents a serious challenge to most developed countries. Telehealth has been widely promoted as a technology to make healthcare more effective and affordable, however, current telehealth systems suffer from vendor lock-in and high cost, and are designed for managing chronic diseases rather than preventing them. We propose a novel framework for telehealth systems aimed at overcoming these shortcomings through principles such as extensibility, accessibility, social support and motivational feedback. The framework was employed to develop a patient-centric telehealth system, Healthcare4Life, which was evaluated in a user study to draw conclusions about the feasibility and acceptance of such a system by seniors. The results indicate that seniors are capable and motivated to use a web-based telehealth system if it provides suitable health applications. Furthermore, the results suggest that such a system has the potential to affect seniors’ attitude towards their own health positively.
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