The purpose of this paper is to discuss how and to what extent users can become involved in the process of selecting and implementing telecare and telehealth technologies in local health care services.
The discussion is based on data from a project in one local authority in Norway. About 100 persons have participated in focus group interviews where issues regarding new telecare and telehealth technologies for the elderly were discussed. The focus groups involved different groups of product users and stakeholder groups, i.e. “older senior users” (over 65 years), “younger senior users” (55-65 years), relatives, health care professionals and general practitioners (GPs).
Different user groups have different stakes in the technology. It is difficult to involve “older senior users” in the selection process due to their lack of information about potential solutions, while “younger senior users” are more informed and positive towards the introduction of telecare and telehealth technologies. The results also indicate that professionals are ambiguous towards new technologies; on the one hand they expect services to be better, but on the other they are concerned about ethical and working life issues that have not been fully explored as yet.
This paper provides an understanding of how different groups of product users and stakeholder groups relate to and can be involved in an expanded implementation process of telecare and telehealth technology which allow older people to remain in their homes for longer.
Bjørkquist, C., Ramsdal, H. and Ramsdal, K. (2015), "User participation and stakeholder involvement in health care innovation – does it matter?", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 2-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJIM-08-2013-0081
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