This study aims to understand elderly people and their family members’ perceptions and usage of a mobile personal safety service.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This study is based on the master thesis of first author. The authors would like to extend their thanks to all the participants in the study.
Säynätmäki, O. and Zhang, Y. (2020), "Understanding the elderly and their next of kin’s usage of mobile personal safety service", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 137-159. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSIT-08-2019-0163Download as .RIS
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