Digital Healthcare Technology Adoption by Elderly People: A Capability Approach Model

Shahrokh Nikou, Wirawan Agahari, Wally Keijzer-Broers, Mark de Reuver

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    48 Citations (Scopus)
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    Digital technologies, such as online healthcare portals, enable elderly people to live independently at home for a longer period of time. Independent living, in this context, refers to the freedom elderly people have to live their lives in ways that they find important. Borrowing from the capability approach (CA) framework from Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen, the core argument of this paper is that elderly people make decisions on whether to use digital healthcare technologies by considering how these technologies enhance their capabilities to live their lives in ways that are valuable to them. This paper develops a theoretical model of adoption of digital healthcare technologies that support independent living applying the CA framework. We follow a mixed-methods approach with a sequence of qualitative, quantitative, and qualitative methods. We find support for our theoretical model, specifically that the intention to use online healthcare portals depends on whether elderly people expect to enhance their capabilities for living independently by using them. Our study contributes to the information systems literature on adoption of digital healthcare technologies as it is the first that applies the capability approach. For adoption studies on digital technologies in healthcare and beyond, our study poses two major theoretical implications: (1) when considering how outcome expectations affect adoption, scholars should consider how digital technologies allow people to live their lives in ways that are valuable to them, rather than considering how technologies help to execute predefined tasks, jobs, or activities; (2) the availability of digital technologies should be considered as a mediator between outcome expectations and intention to use technologies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number101315
    Pages (from-to)
    JournalTelematics and Informatics
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • elderly people
    • Digital health technology
    • healthcare service
    • Platforms


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