Are seniors “too stubborn/technophobic to upgrade to smartphones” or are we just clueless about appreciating their interests and needs?

Over at The Health Debate – a 217 member Linkedin networking group set up by Vodafone’s mHealth team – Shannon Schemeczko, Business Development Manager at Vodafone Hutchison Australia has posted an interesting question that I think characterises a lot of the confusion mobile industry execs have over senior audiences and their interests in mobile services:

I think it’s important to realise that it’s primarily the mobile industry’s job to sell this and appreciation of your customers needs is critical. Especially once we appreciate that if anyone is already carrying “old style nokias” then they’re already in the 21st century (after all it is these devices that defined the first decade of it!).

FYI here’s my comments from the thread:

@Niklas Bergvall

Exactly the right approach: start with customer needs/current problems and then work backwards to the technology.

@Andy Hendry

Check out the latest 3G camera mobile from Doro

The device is welcoming, has good feel, branding and visuals and the camera offers lots of important opportunities for personalisation eg. adding a loved one as a screen saver.

Of course you can always be a bit more original and have some fun eg. a 3M adhesive wrap?

It also has lots of smart features that care providers will find very useful eg. fully remotely reconfigurable, ability to call in without answer, preprogrammed SMS buttons, SOS button, GPS services, etc

My favorite is the basic stuff eg. when the device is programmed with “Call me when you get a chance” and “Call me asap” buttons (A, B etc) that can have a massive social impact by helping to connect generations more effectively.

@ Shannon Schemeczko

Have you tried bundling any other benefits into the smartphone to generate interest amongst these specialists? You might try some/all of the following:

> App to replace their need for a separate pager(s)

> Remote mobile monitoring to give them greater convenience about when/where they work

> Smart voice call handling to help them manage OOH cover more conveniently

> App to provide them with more convenient and effective access to clinical textbook content

> App to provide them with easier ways to document the care they’re providing

> Smartphone case to enable them to conveniently record ECG’s

Failing that loan a equipped smartphone or tablet to a junior Doctor – a senior clinician has a good nose for technology that’s just looking for a problem and the chance to see it being put to use to deliver a better patient care experience all too often will prove to be the best possible sales tool.

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