Technology

A Little Help from My Friends: Getting good advice in the Information Age

When the Beatles wrote “With a Little Help from My Friends” in 1967, they weren’t thinking about health and retirement advice, yet family and friends have always been a trusted source of information. Since the sixties, information delivery has been revolutionised by a new entrant, digital technology, which has changed, not only the way we now seek advice from experts, but also our loved ones and the general public. With the amount of information available expanding rapidly, information literacy has become increasingly important.

Bridging the Digital Divide

National Seniors conducted an annual survey in 2017, and spoke to members through policy forums held in a number of areas across Australia. Digital issues dominated forum discussions, with some audiences expressing intense frustration at the rate of digital change, and the problems they have using new technologies.

Seniors not slow with smartphones

Seniors are embracing technology and making smartphones a key part of their lives, a new report has found.

Monash University’s Dr Harriet Radermacher said a Deloitte mobile consumer survey showed a 10 per cent increase in older people’s smartphone ownership in the year to July 2017.

It found 78 per cent of seniors aged 65 to 75 owned a smartphone, up from 69 per cent in 2016, as well as 82 per cent of 55 to 64-year-olds.

Keep track of your vege intake with an app

There seems to be an app for everything these days and a reminder to eat your vegetables is one of the latest.

CSIRO’s new VegEze app aims to motivate Australians to add extra vegetables to their daily diets and form long-term, healthier habits through a 21-day 'Do 3 at Dinner' challenge.

"Our research found two out of three Australian adults are not eating enough vegetables, especially as part of their evening meal,” the CSIRO’s Senior Principal Research Scientist Professor Manny Noakes said.

Virtual reality tech helps vision-impaired

New medical technology is now available for people with low vision, helping them with everyday tasks such as reading, writing and personal care.

Developed in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins optical clinic in the US, IrisVision uses customised software on a Samsung smartphone and Samsung Gear VR.

“New technologies like IrisVision can make a substantial difference to the quality of life for some people with vision impairment,” said Vision Australia’s Ron Hooton.

Mobile banking to overtake internet banking

Mobile banking via phone or tablet is set to overtake internet banking using a website in the next few years.

Roy Morgan Research found in the six months to June 2017, 8.3 million people used mobile banking in an average four-week period, up from 4.83 million in 2013, an increase of 3.47 million or 71.8 per cent in only four years.

Just over half the50,000 consumers surveyed over a year said internet banking using a website remained the main channel for dealing with a bank.

One in 10 smartphones lost or destroyed

Australians have lost or destroyed 2.5 million smartphones in the past few years, at a cost of $755 million, a new survey shows.

Comparison website finder.com.au said one in 10 phone users had damaged at least one device beyond repair, while six per cent had simply mislaid their phone.

Gen Yers – or those born between 1981 and the mid-1990s – were the worst offenders, with 26 per cent losing or damaging their phones.

That was three times the rate of Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964.

Game on for older Australians

New research shows older people were the largest group of new computer and video game players in the past six years.

Forty-three per cent of over 65s now play video and computer games.

And far from being a waste of time, as some people believe, the Bond University and the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) report Digital Australia 2018 showed that games can be beneficial.

Online resource for end-of-life care

A new website aims to provide evidence-based medical and practical information for the palliative care of older people at the end of life.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said civilisation could be measured by how it treated its older people.

“This is even more meaningful when it comes to caring for the aged and vulnerable at the concluding stages of their lives,” he said.

“This new online resource, www.palliAGED.com.au, collects under one umbrella a wide range of valuable research data and information.

Don’t call me, I’ll call you

Australians love using their mobile phones to call other people but do not always enjoy being contacted themselves.

A study by Roy Morgan Research showed 14.2 million or 72 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over agreed with the statement: “I love being able to contact my friends wherever I am”.

Only 10.8 million of them also agreed: “I enjoy people contacting me on my mobile phone”, leaving 3.4 million who were happy to call others at their own personal convenience, but were not always keen to pick up.

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