|dc.description.abstract||Background: As the Canadian older adult population grows rapidly, emerging solutions and technologies that have the potential to enable aging-in-place are garnering more attention from developers, public policy makers and international organizations. One category of emerging technologies is smart wearable devices; however, their acceptance is low. In addition, information about Canadian older adults’ attitudes toward smart wearable devices is scarce and requires additional exploration.
Objective: To explore Canadian older adults’ attitudes toward and acceptance of two smart wearable devices, the Microsoft Band and the Xiaomi Mi Band.
Methods: A mixed methods design was used to capture descriptive statistics and to explore participant’s attitudes and experiences. Twenty older adults aged 55 or older were recruited from the cities of Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, and Guelph, Ontario. Participants were invited to use two different smart wearable devices, the Microsoft Band and the Xiaomi Mi Band, for 21 days each. Questionnaires were used to capture descriptive statistics, acceptance and explore attitudes towards smart wearable devices. Subsequently, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposively selected sample of four participants (three females and one male) and a content analysis was performed.
Results: Older adults in the study ranged in age from 55-84 (mean = 64). Gender distribution was reasonably balanced and the sample had high levels of education. Older adults were willing to accept smart wearable devices and believed continuous health monitoring could be helpful. Older adults in the sample also had high levels of technology experience and smart wearable devices awareness. Older adults believed a smart wearable device should cost between $0-$200. The Mi Band gained higher levels of acceptance (80% accepted) compared to the Microsoft Band (45% accepted). Most older adults used each smart wearable device for the entire 21-day testing period. Quantitative analysis revealed smart wearable device acceptance was associated with facilitating conditions, perceived risks and equipment characteristics. Content analysis resulted in the formation of four main themes regarding older adult’s attitudes toward and acceptance of smart wearable devices: 1) smartphones as facilitators of smart wearable devices, 2) privacy concerns, 3) subjective norm and facilitating conditions, and 4) smart wearable device equipment characteristics.
Conclusion: This exploratory study contributes to addressing the scarcity of research that explores Canadian older adults’ attitudes toward and acceptance of smart wearable devices. Findings from this study suggest that older adults are willing to accept smart wearable devices and find them useful. However, lack of knowledge and experience in operating smartphones, reduced facilitating conditions, and unfavorable equipment characteristics (regarding comfort, aesthetics, and battery life) may deter the usage and acceptance of wearable devices. Privacy concerns of using smart wearables were not impactful on acceptance for older adults in the sample. These findings add to emerging research that investigates acceptance and factors that may influence acceptance of smart wearable devices among older adults.||en