It appears that Millennials aren’t the only generation flocking to adopt mobile health tech devices. Most Baby Boomers also spend a significant portion of their waking hours looking at screens on their smartphones and other mobile devices. The American Heart Association recently published a statement in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes about older adults using mobile health technology. Mobile health tech is helping older people improve their chances of avoiding a secondary heart attack or stroke following an initial event.

The AHA paper states that most older people use cell phones for voice and text communication, as well as to seek information. Advances in health tech hardware and software led AHA researchers to explore the potential for mobile health tech for secondary cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention. The objective is to improve health outcomes and quality of life by lessening the incidence of repeat events.

In its study of previous inquiries, the AHA team identified and reviewed 26 relevant studies. The studies that made the cut employed mobile health to focus on lifestyle behavior change and medication adherence with patient groups with a mean age of 60 or more years. The researchers found improvements in both measures — lifestyle behavior and medication adherence — especially in studies that included text messaging with information, reminders, alerts, and encouragement.

Mobile health implementation barriers remain, particularly for older adults. The AHA calls for additional studies to determine the types of mobile health that are most effective with older people. The AHA’s stance is that mobile health tech should be a top priority in secondary CVD prevention because of its effectiveness, cost-savings, and time-efficiency.