The rapid digitalization of healthcare risks an increase in health disparities. The adequate use of eHealth solutions is not trivial for all citizens, as individuals must have a combination of, among others, health literacy, traditional literacy, and digital literacy. It is estimated that approximately 60% of the people above 66 years old in Europe have limited health literacy. The inadequate- or no-use of eHealth solutions by people with low eHealth literacy is alarming as this underprivileged group often has lower health outcomes, such as a higher prevalence of chronic diseases.
Got-IT aims to respond to the need for inclusive and understandable eHealth solutions by developing a toolkit that supports the design of understandable, actionable, and inspiring eHealth applications for older adults with low eHealth literacy. Divided into three main sections, the toolkit will raise awareness about the importance of inclusive design in eHealth (INFORM), provide examples and recommendations on how to design visualizations of lifestyle data that are understandable, actionable, and inspiring for older adults with low eHealth literacy (CO-DESIGN), and provide tools for quickly testing the inclusiveness of designed solutions (TEST). The Got-IT toolkit will be deployed in a dedicated website, inviting relevant stakeholders (e.g. eHealth developers and providers) to add their own use-cases, supporting knowledge sharing and community building, leading to new (European) collaborations. Starting with a test case on the promotion of daily physical activity, we will engage with 80 end-users (20 older adults and 60 eHealth developers), 10 secondary users (formal caregivers), and several policy-makers in public events to ensure that the toolkit and its online platform respond to the needs of the stakeholders.
The Got-IT toolkit is unique, as it consists of an openly available, dynamic, and living toolkit that will be extended with tools, best practices, and use cases in the future by a community of designers and developers. Got-IT has the potential to create new markets, by supporting the development of eHealth solutions that are usable and accessible to people in the whole eHealth literacy spectrum. eHealth solutions developed with the Got-IT toolkit will improve health- and digital literacy, closing the health disparities gap and digital divide, and thus reducing the costs caused by health inequalities and promoting social innovation. Additionally, Got-IT will promote the social inclusion of a group that is often neglected in the development of (health) technology – older adults with low eHealth literacy. For the caregivers of the older adults (secondary users), Got-IT will help improve the quality of the care provided by broadening the range of eHealth tools that they can use with the older adults they care for.
This Small Collaborative Project allows the exploration of the idea of the toolkit for inclusive eHealth, its initial development while building a community and raising awareness about the need for inclusive eHealth solutions. When proven useful, the toolkit can be expanded to other types of health-related data in a follow-up project.