This collaborative and transnational project explores the changing dynamics of health and social care by empirically and theoretically examining old age users' use and non-use of eHealth services online in rural regions.
Digital health and social care, so-called eHealth, is an emergent phenomenon which is portrayed as a way of managing societal challenges like demographic ageing, relocation from rural areas and increased demands for availability. But yet, there is a lack of research on the real impact and consequences of eHealth, especially in relation to old age users in rural areas.
In HARVEST, we are empirically and theoretically examining old age users' use and non-use of "virtual health rooms", virtual health and social service centres, digital care applications – care apps – and health and social care information online, in rural regions.
Using an ethnographic approach, we try to understand (a) the impact of ICTs in the everyday lives of older people; (b) the role of (rural) place; and (c) the relationship between technology and digital competences in relation to older people’s use of eHealth in three different countries: Finland, Italy, Sweden.
The final goal is to provide relevant information for policy-makers, to develop eHealth projects that go beyond a technocentric and deterministic approach and consider the real and cultural context of use of digital technologies among elderly.
For more information about the consortium, and publications, see https://harvestresearch.net.