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APPLICATION OF DIFFUSION OF INNOVATIONS: A DESCRIPTIVE PILOT STUDY ON THE PERCEPTIONS OF HOME MONITORING SYSTEMS BY ADULTS 45 TO 64 YEARS OF AGE
Holt, Cheryl L
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BACKGROUND: Improving the function and quality of life of older adults is a key objective identified in Healthy People 2020. Prevention efforts that address the needs of older adults while respecting their desire to remain independent are critical towards meeting this objective. Home monitoring systems (HMS) are a relatively new consumer health technology product that holds promise in enabling independence among seniors in their homes by delaying admittance into institutionalized settings and yet it struggles with low adoption rates in the consumer market. The purpose of this pilot study was to detect and measure the anticipated innovation attributes of HMSs to inform its positioning and promote faster diffusion rates by describing potential adopters among adults 45 to 64 years of age. METHODS: An existing survey was modified to collect perceptions of three anticipated attributes of innovation as they relate to the intention of adopting an HMS as a preventive health behavior. The survey modification was theoretically based on the Diffusion of Innovations (DOI) piloted among residents of Chevy Chase and Bethesda, Maryland (N=71). Logistic regression and Pearson correlation analyses were used to detect evidence to support whether perceived relative advantage, compatibility and complexity and demographic variables were associated with the intention to adopt an HMS in the future. RESULTS: Majority of participants were highly educated, perceived themselves to be in very good health, were or had been caretakers and intended to adopt an HMS in the future. Evidence was found supporting the DOI variables were positively correlated with the intention to adopt an HMS at statistically significant levels (p < .01 and .05). However, high ORs and wide 95% CIs caution the use of these variables as precise predictors of innovativeness and small sample size inhibits the interpretation that a pure statistical relationship exists. Additional findings included the potential of using caretaker status as a predictive variable and purchasing an HMS directly from the manufacturer emerged as an insight into consumer behavior. CONCLUSION: Findings from this study can help us understand how assistive technologies like HMSs are perceived and describe characteristics of early adopters. These preliminary insights can inform future research and improve efforts to encourage faster rates of adoption, particularly in the consumer marketplace where rapid diffusion of promising technologies can have the greatest impact on improving health outcomes for a new aging population.