The Usage of Digital Health Technology Among Older Adults in Hong Kong and the Role of Technology Readiness and eHealth Literacy: Path Analysis

Seungmo Kim, Bik Chu Chow, Sanghyun Park*, Huaxuan Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Although digital health technologies (DHTs) help many people maintain a healthy life, including those of advanced age, these technologies are of little use to older adult populations if they are not being adopted in daily life. Thus, it is critical to identify ways to help older adults recognize and try new technologies and maintain their use of them to maximize the benefits of these technologies in a digital-based society.

    Objective: Our study aimed (1) to assess the current usage of DHT among older adults in Hong Kong and (2) to examine how high and low levels of eHealth literacy in this group affects the relationship between the Technology Readiness and Acceptance Model (TRAM) and attitudes and intention toward DHT.

    Methods: A total of 306 adults over 60 years of age in Hong Kong participated in this study. After conducting confirmatory factor analysis to validate the measurement model, the hypothesized model was tested using structural equation modeling.

    Results: Optimism was significantly related to perceived usefulness, while optimism, innovativeness, and discomfort were significantly associated with perceived ease of use. Both perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use were significantly linked to attitude toward the use of DHTs. Meanwhile, attitude significantly predicted usage intention. Additionally, the results revealed the differences in the relationships of the TRAM between participants with high and low levels of eHealth literacy. The influence of optimism and innovativeness on perceived ease of use was stronger for the higher-level group than for the lower-level group, and the influence of discomfort for the higher-level group was much weaker.

    Conclusions: The findings provided partial support for the impact of eHealth literacy on encouraging older adults to use DHT and obtain health benefits from it. This study also suggests providing assistance and guidelines for older adults to narrow the aging-related technology gap and to further explore the associations of eHealth literacy, the TRAM, and actual behaviors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere41915
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2023

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Health Informatics

    User-Defined Keywords

    • acceptance
    • adoption
    • aging
    • attitude
    • continuous usage intention
    • digital health
    • digital health technology
    • digital literacy
    • eHealth literacy
    • elder
    • elderly
    • gerontology
    • health technology
    • intention-to-use
    • older adults
    • readiness
    • technology readiness
    • technology use
    • usage intention


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