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Understanding the elderly and their next of kin’s usage of mobile personal safety service

Journal article
Authors Olli Säynätmäki
Yixin Zhang
Published in Journal of Systems and Information Technology
ISSN 1328-7265
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1108/JSIT-08-201...
https://www.researchgate.net/public...
Keywords Elderly, mobile security services, user studies
Subject categories Information Systems, Social aspects

Abstract

Purpose This study aims to understand elderly people and their family members’ perceptions and usage of a mobile personal safety service. Design/methodology/approach The study adopts both interviews and analysis of actual usage data to cross-validate the findings. Four family groups and 11 subjects participated in the study. Findings Elderly people are willing to learn to use the mobile safety service, and some elderly people explore more features than their younger family members. Family support facilitates their learning. Elderly people feel psychologically secure when using the mobile safety service. Privacy concerns are mitigated because they consider location sharing is necessary for the service. Research limitations/implications The current sample is small, as it involves collection of both interview data and actual usage data. Considering the emergency of the mobile personal safety service, the study is exploratory. Practical implications The findings suggest that elderly people are willing to learn and use technology such as the mobile safety service, which is relevant to their daily lives. Designers may think about how to highlight the relevancy aspect of technologies in elderly peoples’ lives. Originality/value This study is one of the earliest studies about elderly people’s usage of mobile safety service. This study reveals that elderly people are willing to learn to use the mobile safety service and explore its features. Technical support from family members and relevancy of the service in their daily lives may encourage them to use the technology.

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