Study shows less than 10% of Boomers use tech solutions to improve their mental health
In a detailed study spanning the US, Canada and Europe by MetaBrain Labs, 35.5% of people have used technology, apps or other online programs to address emotional or mental struggles.
Despite this being a growing area, only 9.3% of people who use apps, technology, or other online programs to address emotional and mental struggles are 55 and older.
Interestingly, 56% of people 55 and older would be interested in trying a product that helped bridge the gap between conscious and unconscious beliefs to reshape their mindset, and 74.5% of people ages 55 and older have felt stuck at some point in their life or feel stuck now.
Why are less than one in ten people over the age of 55 utilizing innovations in tech to improve their mental health?
“The data here might reflect more than just a generational divide in technology adoption and comfort. Older individuals, particularly those constrained by disabilities, mobility issues, or limited incomes, often have the most to gain from these accessible and affordable digital mental health solutions. However, lack of awareness, familiarity, or trust in these platforms can act as significant barriers. Traditional face-to-face therapeutic methods are invaluable, but digital solutions offer an alternative, accessible route to mental well-being, especially for those unable to leave their homes or access traditional counseling due to various limitations. It’s crucial for us to bridge this knowledge gap and make these transformative technologies known and available to older demographics, who might be missing out on their benefits due to unawareness or misconceptions,” explains Alexandrea Day, Founder & CEO of MetaBrain Labs.
MetaBrain Labs’ findings underscore a significant opportunity: to tailor mental health technologies to better suit the needs and preferences of older adults. It’s not just about making tech available; it’s about making it approachable and relevant. By focusing on user experience design that considers the ergonomic and cognitive aspects of aging, these technologies can become more intuitive for older users. They are committed to such inclusive design principles, ensuring that their BCI technology is not only powerful but also inviting and easy to use for those who might not have grown up with digital solutions at their fingertips.
To encourage older adults to use mental health technology, it’s essential to design intuitive, accessible tools and offer personalized education and support. Building trust through recommendations from healthcare providers and family, alongside creating opportunities for peer learning, can ease the intimidation associated with new technology. Clear communication about the tangible benefits, privacy, and security measures, coupled with cost-reducing strategies such as subsidies or insurance coverage, can also play a significant role. By adapting features to address the unique needs of the older generation, such as medication reminders and content focused on age-related concerns, we can make mental health technology an inclusive resource that enhances the well-being of older adults.
The potential impact of this work is vast. By facilitating access to and understanding of their BCI technology, mental health technology can not only aid individuals in overcoming personal struggles but also contribute to the collective health of communities. Their technology serves as a bridge, connecting the wisdom and experience of older generations with the innovation and progress of the digital age, empowering all ages to live more fulfilling lives.
The work of MetaBrain Labs spotlights a significant, often overlooked segment of the population in the conversation around mental health technology. By actively addressing the barriers faced by older adults, their BCI technology has the potential to not only enhance individual lives but also to shape a more inclusive future for mental health care. As we witness the continued merging of technology and wellness, the commitment of MetaBrain Labs to accessibility, education, and community involvement paves the way for a more mindful, empathetic, and mentally resilient society.