Bolton Clarke, Australia
Title: Digital ‘Talking Books’ on medicines, diabetes and dementia: Using the latest technology to meet the information needs of older people
Biography: Jaklina Michael
Introduction: 6 out of 10 people in Australia have difficulty accessing, understanding, using and applying health information. Bolton Clarke is finding new ways of using digital technology to ensure our workforce provides culturally appropriate health information and care. 92% of Australians use the internet, of these, 68% are older Australians and they are increasingly using smartphones to access the internet. With the rapid increase in digital technology more consumers and health professionals are using iPads and smartphones to access health information.
Purpose: To develop digital talking books on a range of health topics and in a range of languages, using the latest technology, in partnership with and to a wide range of internal and external stakeholders to ensure relevance, accuracy, acceptability and accessibility for the targeted population groups.
Methodology: The seven talking books were developed and implemented with contribution from 414 community participants who participated in 21 community focus groups. A range of strategies have been used to develop and promote the digital talking books including: Using 3D floppy books software to keep the technology up-to-date with the latest mobile devices and web browsers; ‘Key word’ google search approach for easy access and instruction guide to construct new books and update and maintain existing ones.
Findings: Preliminary qualitative studies reveal that the digital talking books improved health-related literacy amongst older people. Older people are less likely to benefits older people with reading and literacy difficulties or who have vision impairment. use online information and communication technology. However, this barrier can be overcome through the availability of hard copy PDF bi-lingual versions of the content of the talking books.
Conclusion: Analytical data reveals that the talking books are popular. There has been a big increase in visits to the talking books from within Australia and across the world. There is a need to conduct further studies to determine the best way to teach older people how to access the digital talking books. Further studies are also required on how the talking books and their PDF versions are contributing to the health outcomes of older people.