Secondary End-Users’ Perspectives on Gender Differences in the Use of eHealth Applications in Older Adults


  • Yvonne Prinzellner Johanniter Österreich Ausbildung und Forschung gem. GmbH
  • Ali Simon Johanniter Österreich Ausbildung und Forschung gemeinnützige GmbH, Vienna, Austria



gender health applications, secondary end-user, digital divide, older adults


In the digital age, people with low digital skills and low digital literacy face marginalization. Here, the area of healthcare and its rapid digitalization deserves special attention, as the risks of health disparities increase for people with a low eHealth literacy. Within the AAL-funded project ‘Got-IT: a toolkit for inclusive and understandable lifestyle data visualizations in eHealth solutions’ (AAL-2020-7-51-SCP), we therefore aim to create an online toolkit to assist the design of inclusive eHealth solutions. As there already exists a large body of literature regarding (e)Health literacy in older adults that focuses on them as end-users of tools, apps etc. this study specifically focuses on secondary end-users of health applications in the field of healthcare. In this context, we conducted three focus group discussions with secondary end-users such as nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, neurologists as well as social workers.

As a result, it was noted that gender turned out to be an issue in terms of the familiarity and use of eHealth applications. The secondary end-users reported that the focus - when trying to be as inclusive as possible in familiarizing users with low eHealth literacy with health applications - should be on gender-sensitive use of language and gender-sensitive display of medical information. The results of our qualitative study give insights to gender-specific use of eHealth applications for older adults with low eHealth literacy, as well as recommendations of secondary end-users on how to take a more gender-balanced approach when developing, and familiarizing users with eHealth applications. 

Author Biographies

Yvonne Prinzellner, Johanniter Österreich Ausbildung und Forschung gem. GmbH

Dr. Yvonne Prinzellner is a senior researcher at the Research and Innovation Centre at Johanniter Österreich Ausbildung und Forschung GmbH as well as a lecturer and thesis supervisor at post-secondary institutions in Austria. Her expertise and research interests include health communication, gender and sexuality studies and social media.

Ali Simon, Johanniter Österreich Ausbildung und Forschung gemeinnützige GmbH, Vienna, Austria

Ali(sa) Simon is a researcher at the Centre for Research and Innovation athe the Johanniter Austria Ausbildung und Forschung gemeinnützige GmBH focused on Gender & Diversity research.