Teva UK has unveiled findings of a survey showing a generational divide in attitudes to health and use of digital technologies.
According to the survey, in which more than 1,000 people took part, those over the age of 55 years feel in high control of their health and are the most likely of any age group to feel its their responsibility to influence their own health.
But the research also revealed a generational "digital divide" in attitudes toward managing health, with the baby boomer group the least likely to seek advice on how to take better control of their health, Teva said.
This age group is also least likely to search for health information online, with only a third saying they find health information online dependable, and less than half of over 55s surveyed said they actively seek new information about their health - despite the majority believing it's their responsibility to influence their own health.
The Teva UK study also showed that over 55s are the least likely of any age group to agree that technology makes their life easier, and just 11 percent said they would look to use tests that could predict or prevent conditions they might be prone to because of their genes or lifestyle.
Over 55s were also sceptical of the potential health impact of wearable technologies and similar innovations, with only one in five believing these could revolutionise healthcare and, as such, were also least likely to either own (4 percent) or consider owning (8 percent) a wearable tech device or health sensor.
"It's fantastic to see in this new research how empowered baby boomers feel when it comes to their health," said Kate Smith, director of NHS Strategy at Teva UK. However, the survey shows we need to do more to educate an older generation of the potential benefit of new tests, technologies and information now becoming available thanks to advances in digital health".
Challenges in uptake
The findings highlight the challenges that remain in ensuring equal access to innovative health technologies.
A recent government report concluded that "technology can help to provide the solutions to challenges faced by the ageing population, and help to realise the benefits of longer lives," but also warned that there is a danger this potential "will not translate to those with the highest need".
Just yesterday the Department of Health announced a package of measures designed to improve digital services, including a new online triage service that will allow patients with non-urgent queries to receive tailored treatment advice.
But still more than 12 million people in the UK do not have basic digital skills, putting them at risk from being unable to access the latest health technologies and innovations. To help combat this, NHS England and The Tinder Foundation have been running a pilot 'outreach' scheme aiming to equip older and vulnerable people with the skills and confidence to get them online.
In March this year, officials said around 180,000 people had been directly trained to use digital health resources and tools.