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New technology and quality of Life for older people: exploring health and transport dimensions in the UK context

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paulus Aditjandra, Professor John Nelson

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to explore issues of inclusion and quality of life (QoL) for older people in relation to their experiences of and attitudes towards using information and communication technologies (ICT) in meeting their transport and healthcare needs. The objectives of the research were to use focus groups and supplementary questionnaires to collect rich qualitative data from older people in order to inform policy-relevant work on designing more user-friendly and user-targeted intelligent transport systems (ITS). The authors trace the complex relationships between individual attitudes and needs in accessing the services provided by the three relevant policy sectors of transport, healthcare and communications technologies. This study observed that older cohorts show a slight tendency to be less comfortable with ICT, and therefore to integrate it less into daily life. Moreover, the data reveal that the differences between individuals occur through interactions between knowledge and their practices, combined with factors relating to an individual’s physical and mental experience of ageing. The trend of an ageing demographic and increased longevity makes normalising ICT in older people’s lifestyles a policy imperative, so that the development of ITS recognises the particular needs of older people, avoids unintentional exclusion, and enhances QoL. Our recommendations focus on using ITS to facilitate access to healthcare, as that was the main concern of the participants. The authors suggest a conceptual representation of the ideal relationship between ICT, accessibility of services and mobility of individuals that gives policy-makers and service providers a better understanding of the desired outcome of working together.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Pangbourne K, Aditjandra PT, Nelson JD

Publication type: Article

Journal: IET Intelligent Transport Systems

Year: 2010

Volume: 4

Issue: 4

Pages: 318-327

Online publication date: 18/11/2010

Acceptance date: 08/03/2010

Print publication date: 01/12/2010

ISSN (print): 1751-956X

ISSN (electronic): 1751-9578

Publisher: The Institution of Engineering and Technology

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/iet-its.2009.0106

DOI: 10.1049/iet-its.2009.0106


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