Mobile technologies have been proved as a useful tool in the hands of care workers and care recipients since they are used in a variety of tasks related to health care issues. Mobile devices can especially improve effectively the professional life of care workers and make data more accessible.

A recent survey of health care professionals and administrators has shown that 60% have used their tablet at work for at least one year, 28% for two years and 7% for three years. It is also notable that many hospitals and clinics are purchasing tablets for their workers. The question is how care workers use tablets in their work? Mobile devices have lots of advantages which the most important is the access to medical records and information. This function keeps care workers informed of their patients’ clinical condition. Furthermore, they could use a tablet for scheduling appointments, communicating with doctors or coworkers and managing drug prescription. In this way care workers would be more focused on patient care than on administrative duties. In Greece tablets would enable the care workers who mostly do not have certified digital competences to use technology in an easier and more convenient way: they would increase their productivity and also care patients more effectively.

However should a tablet used for health care possess specific features? Tablets are usually designed for home users and therefore lacked in functionalities for health professionals. The CyberNet company designs computers for unique environment and computing needs. Within research in health care industry CyberNET designed the CyberMed T10 tablet for employees in the health care sector. It is loaded with all the features that a health care professional needs including antimicrobial coating and hygienic aluminum housings. Besides its touch screen can be used with medical gloves. It is also easy to carry due to its light weight and its handle though the most important feature remains the equipment of systems used in medical environments facilitating the work of care workers and doctors.

So what better for care workers to benefit of mobile technology by using medical grade tablets? In this way their job becomes easier and more convenient enabling secure access anywhere!

Sources:
http://www.health2con.com/news/2013/05/23/health-care-professionals-tapping-into-mobile-devices/
http://blog.cybernetman.com/tablet-use-increasing-in-health-care-industry/

Author: Theofili Smprini

Around two thirds (65%) of Europeans aged 65-74 have never used the Internet (Life Online, 2011). The reasons are diverse. In some cases they are related to equipment and access costs. There are also concerns about safety online, harmful content and also lack of relevance of the content to the consumer. Disability and limited digital skills are also seen as obstacles to getting online.

With the idea of developing an innovative an easy way to help novice users to discover and use the Internet safely, ‘We are what we do‘, an UK based not-for-profit behaviour change company created an online service that is meant to be a gateway between the first time user and the Internet. This service is called ‘Internet Buttons‘.

‘Internet buttons’ is a customizable home page enabled with pre-made buttons that allows the creation of shortcuts to any online webiste. These shortcuts are presented as colourful buttons. They come with clear labels, are situated in the middle of the page and are big enough to be easily clicked. They are unmissable and therefore so easy to use!

‘Internet buttons’ are designed to target older people in particular, to help them benefit from the full potential of Internet. For example: shopping and paying bills online and, perhaps most importantly,  communicating with their friends and family that are online.

So how could you get an older person, who is a first time user of the Internet to use these buttons?
Follow the guide:

  1. Create a page
  2. Put your photo and contact number with a reassuring message
  3. Create the buttons. Popular examples are: Set up as a home page, Create buttons for Search, Email (work is web email), Weather, Wikipedia, News, Skype: Call me, Local newspaper, National news paper, TV guide, Local supermarket for the shopping, other examples in the Gallery.

The Internet Buttons also come with ‘My Handy Notebook’. This is a physical notebook to store notes and passwords used with Internet buttons, so that these are always to hand.

Don’t forget to visit and like their page on Facebook! You will find lots of interesting information about how Internet buttons can be used for helping novices to get online.

Further reading:
Life Online (2011) Report

Milligan, C. and Passey, D. (2011). Ageing and the use of the Internet: current engagement and future trends. Nominet Trust

Author: Margarita Pérez García

The careNet project acknowledges that enhancing the digital competences of older people is vital if we want to ensure their autonomy and social inclusion. Often we find that technological developments are driven not by the needs of the older person but rather by companies and professionals that have differing priorities. The importance of maintaining control over ones finances cannot be underestimated, but for older people, living in an increasingly digital world this is not as straightforward as it once used to be. For example in the UK the projected end point for the use of paper cheques is 2018 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8414341.stm). In response to these and other changes we can identify a range of groups working to the demands of less well represented groups such as older peple. A good example is the Digital Interaction  group within the Culture Lab, based at the University of Newcastle, who have been exploring as they explain:

“the obvious need for the banking system to do more to be inclusive of the eighty-something age group, the aim of this project was to design innovative, provocative digital technologies that would enable this group to handle their finances more easily and highlight the ways in which the current system is failing older citizens.”

Their efforts in this domain have resulted in the production of a number of prototypes that include:
• A secure PIN reminder called the ‘Biometric Daemon‘;
Digital Cheques to better integrate the traditional cheque into modern banking systems;
• An application to enable people to give delegates restricted access to their money on their behalf called the ‘Guardian Angel‘;
• ‘Questionable Concepts‘ a provocative exploration of ideas about money-related scenarios.

For further information on these and other projects from the group please visit: http://di.ncl.ac.uk/projects/new-approaches-to-banking/

Author: Steven Warburton